TODAY   |  May 03, 2013

Jury sees graphic photos in final Jodi Arias arguments

Prosecutor Juan Martinez came out swinging in his closing arguments in the Jodi Arias murder trial, calling Arias a liar and showing photos so graphic they reduced the sister of slain Travis Alexander to tears. NBC’s Diana Alvear reports and legal analyst Lisa Bloom discusses the case.

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>>> first the defense will make its closing arguments in the trial of jodi arias accused of murdering her one-time boyfriend after prosecurs made their final case to the jury. diana alvear is in phoenix, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, the prosecutor came out swinging during his closing argument telling the jury anything less than a conviction of murder would be an injustice.

>> she will not let him rest in peace, but now instead of a gun, instead of a knife, she uses lies.

>> reporter: point by point, prosecutor juan martinez took apart the system of jodi arias , highlighting inconsistencies and contradictions, in an attempt to show the jury she knew what she was doing when she killed travis alexander in june of 2008 . arias claims it was self- defense .

>> we have her lying about those gas cans and then you have her lying about this license plate and you have her turning off her phone so she can be found in arizona.

>> he's trying to say she's a liar, manipulator, a premeditator, she thought about this and did it. this is not in the heat of passion, this is not the victim of domestic violence.

>> reporter: the jury also saw graphic photos of alexander , some so gruesome his sisters were reduced to tears.

>> he doesn't have any weapon whatsoever. not only does he not have that, he doesn't have any clothing on and as he sits there, he doesn't have any dignity either. she's taken that away from him.

>> reporter: martinez reminded jurors of what alexander said days before his death.

>> you, ji arias , are the worst thing that ever happened to me.

>> at times it seemed too much for arias p she sobbed and dabbed at her face but martinez told the jury if they valued facts more than arias 's life they had one choice.

>> return a verdict of guilty first-degree murder, for no other reason that it's your duty and the facts and the law support it.

>> reporter: the jury can convict on second-degree murder or manslaughter as a lesser charge. we'll hear the defense closing argument in a few hours and after that it's up to the jury.

>> diana alvear thank you. lisa bloom , "today" analyst. being instructed on the lesser charges means what?

>> that's a victory for the defense . if the jury wants to compromise they can on manslaughter and she does not get the death penalty .

>> closing arguments, do you think the prosecutor did a good job of weaving together all the evidence and telling a compelling story of guilt?

>> oh, absolutely. he was so relatable. he didn't use notes, spoke right to the your why i in plain english . i give him very high marks and in this pornographic salacious case it comes down to unsexy facts about a rental car, a gas can. why didn't she stop for gas when she drove a thousand miles .

>> that matters because for prosecutors they have to prove a planned killing if they want to have a death penalty eligible case.

>> that's right and the prosecution has hard, cold facts on their side. the defense is going to rely on psychological evidence, jodi arias ' own testimony, much more difficult to persuade a jury about.

>> juan martinez is known as a bulldog in the courtroom, true to form, eviscerated her. do you think that is an effective tone? the prosecutors it supposed to have righteous indignation. is there ever a risk people will start feeling sorry for jodi arias .

>> he went after her yesterday in closing argument for crying in the courtroom. of course it's a stressful situation and she's crying but this is a mostly male jury and i think he wanted to set a tone, don't feel sorry for her, don't fall for the tears. guy to guy that's the tone of the setting, very smart.

>> he made it personal telling she lied to you right here in this room.

>> jurors hate being lied to. they will forgive almost anything but not someone who lies to them. it was a terrific point on his part.

>> we'll hear from the defense coming up.

>> today.

>> about proving self- defense or convincing the jurors of that. lisa