Judge postpones ruling on motions in Jodi Arias case
Convicted murderer Jodi Arias was in court Monday but Judge Sherry Stephens did not set a court date for the retrial of her sentencing. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A pre-trial conference for convicted murderer Jodi Arias was continued until September to allow the prosecution time to review recent motions filed by defense attorneys before setting a date for the sentencing phase of her trial.
Judge Sherry Stephens met with attorneys from both sides in her chambers Monday and emerged saying she was not prepared to rule on motions made by defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott before setting the new date.
Arias was in the courtroom but said nothing during the brief proceeding.
Arias' attorneys filed a motion to block live video cameras from the sentencing phase of the trial. That would be a radical departure for the case that drew interest from around the world. The death penalty trial was broadcast live on cable news networks and streamed online, including on cbs5az.com/live.
Defense attorneys have also asked that they be able to monitor new jurors' Twitter accounts to ensure that details of the trial are not being communicated and to ensure a fair trial for their client when a new jury is seated to determine whether she will be sentenced to prison or to death.
Stephens set the next court date for 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 to allow her more time to review the motions and to allow the prosecution adequate time to respond and to possibly set a date to again begin the penalty phase of the trial.
Last month, Arias, dressed in her jail uniform and wearing her hair in a bun, sat quietly and said nothing during a pre-trial hearing, according to CBS 5 News reporter Jose Miguel.
During that hearing, Stephens also denied again Kirk Nurmi's request to step down as defense attorney. Nurmi and defense attorney Jennifer Willmott, as well as prosecutor Juan Martinez, were at the hearing.
On May 8, Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, but jurors couldn't agree on a sentence, and Stephens declared a mistrial in that portion.
A new jury could decide if Arias will serve life in prison or receive a death sentence.