PHOENIX — Jodi Arias asked jurors Tuesday to give her life in prison, arguing she ‘‘lacked perspective’’ when she told a local reporter in an interview after she was convicted of murder that she preferred execution to spending the rest of her days in jail.
She told the same eight men and four women who found her guilty of first-degree murder that she planned to use her time in prison to bring about positive changes, including donating her hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients and designing T-shirts to raise money for victims of domestic abuse.
Arias admitted killing boyfriend Travis Alexander and said it was the ‘‘worst thing’’ she had ever done. But she stuck to her story that the brutal attack — which included stabbing Alexander more than 30 times, shooting him in the head, and nearly decapitating him — was her defense against abuse.
Her testimony came a day after her attorneys asked to be removed from the case because the five-month trial had become a witch hunt that prompted death threats against a key witness in the trial’s penalty phase. They also argued for a mistrial. The judge denied both requests.
Arias acknowledged the pain she caused Alexander’s family, and said she hoped her conviction brought them peace.
‘‘I loved Travis, and I looked up to him,’’ Arias said. ‘‘At one point he was the world to me. This is the worst mistake of my life. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.’’
She said she considered suicide, but didn’t kill herself after Alexander’s death because of her love for her own family.
Arias said she regretted that details of her sex life with Alexander came out during the trial.
‘‘It’s never been my intention to throw mud on Travis’s name,’’ she said.
After she finished speaking, the judge told jurors they can consider a handful of factors when deciding Arias’s sentence, including defense assertions that she is a good friend and a talented artist.
Arias initially claimed she knew nothing about Alexander’s June 2008 killing at his suburban Phoenix home.