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PHOENIX (KSAZ) – There were explosive allegations, that if true, could derail the Jodi Arias trial, and not just her sentencing. They could affect her conviction, maybe even make her a free woman.
In a motion filed Monday, her lawyers claim key evidence was destroyed and they’ve only learned about it now.
A motion was filed by Arias’ lawyers alleging a computer forensic expert claims thousands of images of child porn were deleted from Arias’ victim, Travis Alexander’s, computer while that computer was in the custody of Mesa police.
Arias alleged in her trial that her ex-boyfriend was a pedophile and had threatened her because she could expose it, however, no evidence of that was ever presented in court.
The motion filed Monday calls for all charges be dropped for proprietorial misconduct, a FOX 10 source confirms Monday night that the motion was indeed filed.
These are serious allegations of evidence tampering against the Mesa police department and prosecutors.
FOX 10 spoke with Mesa Police tonight who say they just learned of this, this evening. They say obviously the defense is entitled to make motions and they will let the judicial system take it’s course.
FOX 10 also reached out to county attorney’s office for comment, but they responded declining any comment on the case as per the instructions of the judge.
New York prosecutor and commentator, Beth Karas says while these kinds of motions are filed, it’s rare and it’s a very serious allegation to make.
“They’ve got a reason to believe some significant information on Travis Alexander’s laptop was deleted while in possession of police department and the first jury last year never heard this evidence. I’m a little suspicious, I want to hear the state’s response to this,” said Beth Karas.
“If these allegations are true, this is very bad for the police department and prosecution. It’s misconduct on police and the prosecution, it’s destroying Brady Material that the jury is entitled to hear and see, and this means the integrity of the guilty verdict is totally affected. She’s entitled to a new trial or dismissal of new charges or death penalty taken off the table, there could be sanctions against the police department and the prosecutor,” she said.
So what happens next? The state responds and a judge hears from a witness either in the penalty phase or have a separate hearing.
Karas says use caution, let the states response and evidence in support or against it before getting too riled up about this motion not being resolved this week.
Judge restricts live camera coverage in Jodi Arias case
PHOENIX – The second penalty phase in the Jodi Arias murder case will not be televised live, a judge ruled in an order made public Tuesday, marking a change from her first trial that attracted worldwide attention and created a media spectacle when the proceedings were broadcast in real time.
Arias, 33, a former waitress, was convicted of first-degree murder last May for the 2008 killing of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but jurors couldn’t reach a decision on a sentence.
Under Arizona law, while her murder conviction stands, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort to secure a death sentence.
If the second panel fails to end in a unanimous decision, the death penalty would be removed from consideration. The judge would then sentence Arias to spend her life behind bars or to be eligible for release after 25 years. The penalty phase retrial is set for Sept. 8,2014.
.Jodi Arias: Guilty of first-degree murder
Video and audio coverage of the proceedings will be allowed but may not be broadcast publicly until after the verdict, Judge Sherry Stephens wrote in her ruling.
“Any violation of this court order will result in immediate expulsion from the courtroom,” Stephens wrote.
Stephens appeared to give herself some leeway with the decision, noting in the ruling that if any footage was at some point during the proceedings allowed to be broadcast, there would have to be a 15-minute delay.
Media lawyers had argued for the same live TV coverage that occurred during Arias’ first trial.