Arias prosecutor scrutinized for intense approach

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Associated Press

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 3 at 2:03 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Known as a prosecutor with a pedal-to-the-metal approach, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez stumped Jodi Arias repeatedly throughout his cross-examination in her murder trial.

He raised his voice and acted out scenarios in dramatic fashion. He snapped as she dodged questions. Arias held her own periodically, appearing to smugly toy with Martinez.

The exchanges rattled the seasoned prosecutor as the case at times devolved into a showdown of wit and will.

Arias is charged in the June 2008 killing of her lover, she says, in self-defense. Authorities say she planned the attack on Travis Alexander in suburban Phoenix.

The heated exchanges came during a pivotal week of testimony and raised questions about whether the prosecutor's ferocious approach helped or hurt his chances of landing a first-degree murder conviction and a death sentence.

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