TODAY | May 24, 2013
>>> another stunning twist in the jodi arias murder trial as the judge declares a mistrial in the penalty phase of the case. nbc's diana alvear has the latest from phoenix.
>> reporter: andrea, good morning. we knew wednesday the jury was having trouble agreeing on a sentence and this very long trial is about to get much longer. they're going to have to choose a new jury for the penalty phase . life or death. in the end the jury couldn't decide.
>> unanimously find, having considered all of the facts and circumstances that the defendant should be sentenced, no unanimous agreement, signed foreperson.
>> reporter: a hung jury . it was too much for victim travis alexander's family, arias herself appeared stunned, even judge sherry stevens seemed to need a moment to process what happened.
>> this was not your typical trial. you were asked to perform very difficult responsibilities.
>> now the focus turns to the difficulty of choosing a new jury to sentence arias.
>> how do you get a jury of your peers who wasn't told that for all these five months and every day on the front page of the paper was jodi arias.
>> reporter: and the headlines won't be going away any time soon, a tough reality for alexander's loved ones.
>> losing him was tough the first time. going through this all over again has been incredibly challenging.
>> reporter: and if you were wondering why jodi arias' family was not in the courtroom, we know why thanks to an exclusive statement from her mother, sandy, she tells us "i am very upset that we were not called to be there. the judge shouldn't have gone forward without jodi 's family present. this has taken a toll on our family emotionally and financially. we have stood by jodi throughout the trial and we will continue to stand by her."