Just when you thought it was safe to take your eyes off of the Jodi Arias case for a moment, her defense team brings us something of a bombshell.
Arias’s lawyers have filed a motion to either dismiss all charges against their client, or dismiss possibility of the death penalty against her, on the grounds that while Travis Alexander’s computer was in police custody, thousands of pornographic images (including those of children) were deleted from his computer. According to defense forensic analysis, thousands of pornographic files dated in 2008 were deleted from Alexander’s computer during a three-hour window on June 19, 2009, while the machine was in the custody of the Mesa Police Department. Mesa police reportedly testified in the original trial last year that there was no pornography found on Alexander’s computer.
The allegations of prosecutorial misconduct could be very damaging, especially if the prosecution put witnesses on the stand testifying to items that they knew were not telling the truth. Any destruction of evidence while it is in police custody is troublesome and a major issue for the prosecution, but this has the potential to overturn the case.
The prosecution has repeatedly over the course of the trials tried to portray Alexander as devoutly religious. When Arias testified that she had walked in on Alexander masturbating to pictures of young boys, the prosecution alleged that these were lies to tarnish the victim’s name. When Arias presented copies of letters Alexander had sent apologizing for misdeeds, the forensic team could only state that they could not authenticate the copies.
The state has yet to respond to the defense motion. Stay tuned.
Jodi Arias defense: Porn evidence destroyed on Travis Alexander computer (Arizona Republic)
Jodi Arias’ attorneys file to dismiss charges because of ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ (NY Daily News)
Jodi Arias’s lawyer makes allegations of destroyed evidence (Fox 10 Phoenix)
Jodi Arias trial update: Defense lawyers file motion to dismiss all charges (ABC 15 Arizona)
Photo: AP/The Arizona Republic, David Wallace,Pool