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Jodi Arias set to be grilled on stand in murder trial

Tom Tingle / The Arizona Republic via AP

Prosecutor Juan Martinez asks defendant Jodi Arias a question about her diary during cross examination testimony in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix.

Jodi Arias resumes testimony Monday in her Arizona murder trial after the start of a withering cross-examination last week by a prosecutor working to poke holes in her numerous stories.

She is charged in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her lover in his suburban Phoenix home. Arias claims self-defense, while authorities say she planned the attack on Travis Alexander in a jealous rage. Testimony has been ongoing since early January.

Arias, 32, lost a bid last week aimed at getting a reprieve from a potential death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder after the Arizona Supreme Court swiftly denied her motion that claimed a detective committed perjury in the case. Her attorneys have filed multiple motions for mistrials, all of which have been denied.

She was set to resume testimony Monday for her 10th day on the witness stand.

Last week, prosecutor Juan Martinez hammered Arias with intense questioning about her inability to recall crucial details in the case, yet noted it was puzzling that she can remember "what kind of coffee you bought at Starbucks sometime back in 2008."

Arias smirked at times while Martinez stammered in frustration, and the judge admonished both to stop talking over each other as the questioning grew heated and the two traded barbs.

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Martinez resumes his cross-examination Monday likely continuing to focus on Arias' repeated lies.

Arias first told authorities she knew nothing about Alexander's death, then later blamed it on masked intruders before eventually settling on self-defense.

She said she was scared of being arrested, had been contemplating suicide and didn't want to sully Alexander's name with accounts of his violent behavior and lurid details of their sexual relationship, given his public persona as a devout Mormon who was saving himself for marriage.

Of the day she killed Alexander, Arias says she remembers him in a rage, body slamming her and chasing her around his home.

She said she grabbed a gun from his closet, and fired it as they tussled, but didn't know if she hit him. She had no explanation for the 27 stab and slash wounds he suffered, or his slit throat, or how he ended up stuffed in his shower.

According to court records, however, she previously told police before her trial began that Alexander was unconscious after she shot him, but then "crawled around and was stabbed."

She says she remembers putting a knife in the dishwasher and disposing of the gun in the desert as she drove from Arizona on her way to Utah. And she immediately began planning an alibi.

Arias' grandparents reported a .25 caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California house about a week before the killing — the same caliber used to shoot Alexander — but Arias claims to know nothing about the burglary. She says she brought no weapons to Alexander's home on the day she killed him, undercutting the prosecution's theory of premeditation.