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PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias has been convicted of first-degree murder in the brutal stabbing and shooting death of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona.

 

   Arias was charged in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the attack in a jealous rage. Arias initially denied involvement, then blamed it on two masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Alexander in self-defense.

 

   Testimony began in early January, with Arias eventually spending 18 days on the witness stand. Jurors got the case Friday.

 

   The trial has been a made-for-the-tabloids drama, garnering daily coverage by the cable news networks, with tales of lurid sex, lies and death, nude photos and accounts of a salacious relationship that ended in a bloody killing.

 

   THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

 

   Jurors reached a verdict Wednesday in the trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of murdering her one-time boyfriend in Arizona.

 

   Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander, a motivational speaker and salesman, at his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities said she planned the attack in a jealous rage after being rejected by the victim while he pursued other women.

 

   Arias initially denied involvement and later blamed the killing on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Alexander in self-defense.

 

   Jurors got the case Friday afternoon. They reached a decision late Wednesday morning. It was scheduled to be announced at 1:30 p.m.

 

   Testimony in the trial began in early January, with Arias later spending 18 days on the witness stand. The trial quickly snowballed into a made-for-the-tabloids drama, garnering daily coverage from cable news networks, and spawning a virtual cottage industry for talk shows, legal experts and even Arias, who used her notoriety to sell artwork she made in jail.

 

   Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower. He was found by friends about five days later.

 

   Arias said she recalled Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said Alexander came at her "like a linebacker," body-slamming her to the tile floor. She managed to wriggle free and ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf. She said she fired in self-defense but had no memory of stabbing him.

 

   Arias acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth.

 

   As deliberations drag on, dozens of people gather daily on the courthouse steps waiting for a verdict.

 

   If Arias is convicted of first-degree murder, she faces either life in prison or a death sentence. Jurors also have the option of convicting Arias of second-degree murder if they believe she didn't premeditate the killing but still intentionally caused Alexander's death. If convicted of that charge, she could be sentenced to 10 to 22 years in prison.

 

   Manslaughter is an option if the panel believes Arias didn't plan the killing in advance and the attack occurred in the heat of passion after "adequate" provocation from Alexander. A conviction on this charge carries a sentence of seven to 21 years in prison.

 

   If they believe she killed Alexander in self-defense, Arias would be acquitted and would walk out jail after being incarcerated for more than four years.

 
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The search continues for a driver who hit a man then left the scene.

Police say the accident happened at the Park Meadows Apartments near Woods Mill and Manchester just after midnight today. The victim remains in the hospital with unknown injuries.

Police have not released any description of the suspect's car.

 

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 15:45
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is warning of employee layoffs and cuts to services if legislators pass a budget that reduces funding for the states' motor vehicle division.

Nixon said Wednesday that lawmakers were acting irresponsibly to put forward a budget that would fund the division for only the first two-thirds of the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that the partial funding was intended as an incentive for Nixon's administration to stop making electronic copies of personal documents of people applying for driver's licenses. They said lawmakers could provide the rest of the money when they return to the Capitol next January.

But Nixon called the partial-year funding unprecedented. The Democratic governor said he would treat it as an annual appropriation and cut accordingly.

 

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 13:36
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed additional funding for Capitol repairs, design plans for a new facility at the state mental hospital and for the state parks system.

The measure was approved by a 29-4 vote on Wednesday. It would allow the state to spend $50 million on new Capitol windows and structural repairs, $38 million on a new state office building, $20 million for parks and $13 million to fund design plans at Fulton State Hospital.

Lawmakers moved forward with the additional funding last week after Gov. Jay Nixon's administration released an April financial report showing state revenue had increased by more than 11 percent from last year.

The spending plan now heads back to the House.

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:24
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