Nation

Judge delays decision in Jodi Arias case

PHOENIX — A judge delayed a decision Thursday on the next step for the murder trial of Jodi Arias, who made her first court appearance since the jury was unable to reach a decision last month on punishment for killing her boyfriend.

A shackled Arias walked into court escorted by several jail officers and briefly sat at the defense table as lawyers met privately in the chambers of Judge Sherry Stephens. The judge scheduled another hearing for July 18, the date a new penalty phase had been tentatively scheduled to start.

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The proceeding lacked the sizzle of the five-month trial that attracted a global following and had spectators waiting in line in the middle of the night to get a coveted seat in the courtroom. On Thursday, the courtroom was about two-thirds full, the hearing was not televised, and there were no arguments in open court.

Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder on May 8 in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of boyfriend Travis Alexander. About two weeks later, the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or death.

Associated Press

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