The lead defense lawyer for convicted murderer Jodi Arias says jurors failing to reach a unanimous verdict in his client's sentencing retrial won't change the sadness from the 2008 killing.

Attorney Kirk Nurmi spoke outside a Phoenix courthouse where a mistrial was declared Thursday after the jury deadlocked. That means Arias avoids a possible death sentence and instead faces life in prison.

Nurmi called the killing a "tragedy" and said he hoped the outcome could allow victim Travis Alexander's family and friends to begin to reach closure. He declined to answer reporters' questions.

Alexander's brothers and sisters said in a statement that they were saddened by the jury's inability to reach a decision on the death penalty.

However, they said they understand the difficulty of the decision.