(HLN) — Convicted killer Jodi Arias may get the chance to save herself from the death penalty when she sits down with Arizona state prosecutors on October 24 to discuss a possible deal, HLN has learned.
A deal would allow Arias to avoid a retrial of the penalty phase of her case, which ended in a hung jury. Her first-degree murder conviction from May 8 still stands, and so does the jurors’ finding that Arias murdered her former boyfriend Travis Alexander in a “cruel manner.”
Judge Sherry Stephens, who presided over Arias’ trial, will not handle the settlement conference. Instead, Judge James Keppel will preside over the meeting that could decide Arias’ fate.
For the penalty phase retrial, a new jury would be selected, and those jurors would decide only whether Arias would be sentenced to death by lethal injection or life in prison.
At this time, the intentions of both the prosecution and the defense are unclear. Jerry Cobb, public information officer for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, told HLN that neither side has presented an outline of an agreement or an official position on a settlement.
Cobb also said prosecutors have not withdrawn the possibility of the death penalty.
On Friday, Arias and her attorneys will have a closed door evidentiary hearing before Stephens. Cameras will not be allowed to record the proceedings, where the judge is expected to hear arguments concerning a potential expert witness for the defense. \
Another hearing is scheduled for October 4, but it is not clear, in light of the settlement conference on October 24, whether that hearing will be held.
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