Arias seeks death penalty stay, court rejects

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Jodi Arias' effort to get the death penalty option in her murder case temporarily set aside was met Friday with a swift rejection from the Arizona Supreme Court in a one-sentence response denying the motion filed just hours earlier.

Arias is charged in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her lover in his suburban Phoenix home. She claims self-defense, while authorities say she planned the attack in a jealous rage. Testimony has been ongoing since early January.

After failing to win a mistrial or stay of the death penalty option in the lower court earlier this year, her defense attorneys sought relief Friday from the state's highest court, which quickly rejected it. Her trial is set to continue Monday with the death penalty still on the table if prosecutors can secure a first-degree murder conviction.

Arias' attorneys argued in early January before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens, who is overseeing the trial, that the lead detective on the case perjured himself during a pretrial hearing aimed at determining whether the death penalty should be considered an option for jurors.

Mesa police Detective Esteban Flores testified at the hearing that based on his own review of the scene, and a discussion with the medical examiner, it was apparent that Alexander had been shot in the forehead first. Arias then repeatedly stabbed and slashed him 27 times and slit his throat, he said.

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