Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens tried to close courtroom doors during part of the retrial of Jodi Arias to accommodate a secret witness testimony, but the testimony has been delayed, and the court remains open to the public, court officials said.
The trial is in the penalty phase with a new jury impaneled last month due to a deadlock in May 2013. The original jury determined that Arias was eligible for the death penalty, but no conclusion was made on which punishment she would receive, The Huffington Post said.
Now, the second jury will determine once again whether Arias will face the death penalty.
At the request of the defense attorneys to Arias, Judge Stephens closed the court Thursday, Oct. 30, for a new testimonial from a witness who wished to remain unidentified in this highly publicized case.
The following Monday, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the public should be allowed to view courtroom testimony during such an important, high-profile case that has garnered attention across the nation, Reuters reports.
As a result of this decision, Stephens is temporarily restricted from taking any further testimony from witnesses while closing doors to the the media and the public.
The Jodi Arias case has been unpredictable from the start, but Stephens taking legal matters into her own hands and causing a media block-out is the latest twist to the story, keeping Arizona, and the rest of the country, on its toes.
Arias, 34, was convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, 30, after he decided to end their relationship. Prosecutors accused her of acting in a jealous rage, but Arias said she acted in self-defense.
Alexander was stabbed more than 30 times, nearly beheaded from a slash to the throat and shot in the forehead. Friends found his body days later in the shower of his Mesa home.
If the new jury deadlocks again, it will be up to a judge to determine whether Arias will be sentenced to life in prison or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, The Arizona Republic said.