Jodi Arias is pictured during her trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona, April 2, 2013.
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Convicted murderer Jodi Arias may get final word on Tuesday on when she will face a new jury in Arizona to decide if she should be executed for killing her ex-boyfriend after jurors deadlocked on her fate in May.
Arias, a former waitress from California, was found guilty of murdering Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix-area home in June 2008. He had been stabbed 27 times, had his throat slashed and was shot in the face.
But the same eight-man, four-woman jury that convicted Arias of murder and quickly ruled her eligible for the death penalty subsequently failed to reach a consensus as to whether she should be executed, prompting a penalty-phase mistrial.
Oral arguments scheduled in Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday before Judge Sherry Stephens could clear the way for the process of selecting new jurors in the penalty phase of the case, and could set a date for doing so.
In court filings, prosecutors have asked the judge to begin new penalty-phase proceedings on July 30.
But defense attorneys asked that the proceedings be delayed until January because of scheduling conflicts and the possibility that Arias might want to call witnesses to speak on her behalf.
State prosecutors have the option of retrying the sentencing phase before a new jury, or could allow her to be sentenced to a mandatory life term by the judge. If there is another jury deadlock at retrial, a judge would sentence Arias to spend the rest of her life in prison, or to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery has consistently maintained since the first jury deadlocked that he would ask the new jurors to put Arias to death.
After the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on May 23, Montgomery said that his office would assess its next steps, but was proceeding “with the intent to retry the penalty phase.”
The trial began in January and become a staple for U.S. cable television viewers with its tale of a soft-spoken, young woman charged with such a brutal crime. The trial was punctuated with graphic testimony and bloody photographs.
Arias, 33, took the stand for a marathon 18 days and maintained throughout that the killing was in self-defense despite fierce cross-examination by prosecutors.