Convicted murderer Jodi Arias to act as own attorney

By Michelle Kapusta,

Convicted murderer Jodi Arias will represent herself in the death penalty phase of her upcoming trial.

The Arizona Republic reported that on Monday, Arias appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court and provided an oral motion to act as her own attorney.

Judge Sherry Stephens urged the 34-year-old to reconsider and said that she did not believe the choice was in her best interest. However, the decision was ultimately up to Arias and Stephens granted her motion.

HLN noted that according to the court, defense lawyers Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott will be retained as advisors.

Arias and her lawyers have had a difficult relationship during the trial and in the months following her conviction. They tried in several instances to be removed from the case and Arias herself tried to have Nurmi dismissed from her legal team.

Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder last year in the brutal slaying of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. The jury could not reach a decision on whether or not to give her the death penalty. Judge Stephens was then forced to declare a mistrial and new set of jurors will be impaneled.

The penalty phase of the trial is set to begin in September.

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