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Judge sets date for Jodi Arias penalty phase retrial

Jodi Arias — convicted in a spellbinding five-month trial last year of brutally stabbing and shooting her boyfriend — in March will face a retrial on the penalty phase in her case, an Arizona judge announced Monday.

David Wallace / The Arizona Republic pool via Reuters file

Jodi Arias talks with her defense attorney Jennifer Wilmott, left, during a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix.

A Maricopa County jury found the 33-year-old guilty in the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander last May, but jurors could not reach a consensus on whether the former California waitress should be sentenced to death or receive a life behind bars.

The day the jury announced they were deadlocked, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens said she would order a retrial of the penalty phase, but since that time a series of legal moves have stalled setting a date.

Those maneuvers included a failed bid by defense attorneys to move the case out of the greater Phoenix area because of widespread publicity, as well as Arias' effort to remove her lead attorney from the case.

On Monday, Stephens set a March 17 date for the penalty phase retrial, the Arizona Republic and other local media reported.

Alexander was found murdered in the shower of his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008 with his throat slit, a gunshot wound to his head and 27 stab wound throughout his body.

The trial made headlines for including lurid details about the former couple’s sex life. Arias testified for a marathon 18 days and contended she killed Alexander in self-defense.

If a jury is again deadlocked on the death penalty, a judge would sentence Arias to life in prison or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Reuters contributed to this report.