Jodi Arias lawyers miss deadline to appeal murder conviction; request extension

Jodi Arias’ lawyers say they need more time to appeal her 2013 murder conviction after missing the deadline last week to file their legal brief.

The deadline came and went Wednesday for the brief. The next day lawyers filed a request for a three-month extension to submit the written document on behalf of Arias, who is in prison for the brutal slaying of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander.

Arias’ defense team citied a computer problem, staff shortages and the chronic health issues of one of the lawyers in justifying their extension request, the Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

Jodi Arias (L) and her attorney Jennifer Willmott (R) look back during sentencing hearing in Maricopa County Superior Courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona April 13, 2015. An Arizona judge sentenced former waitress Jodi Arias to life in prison with no possibility of parole on Monday for shooting and stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death in 2008.  REUTERS/Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic/Pool - TM3EB4D147B01

Jodi Arias (L) and her attorney Jennifer Willmott (R) look back during sentencing hearing in Maricopa County Superior Courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona April 13, 2015.  (REUTERS/Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic/Pool )

If the extension is granted by the Arizona Court of Appeals, the appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel after briefs are submitted by the defense and the prosecution.

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The appeal had already been delayed by about a year after problems were discovered in transcripts of Arias' trial. 

In Arias' case, the state Court of Appeals had to repeatedly ask some of the trial's 22 court reporters to finish transcripts, and at one point even ordered that dozens of transcripts be destroyed and redone because of errors and omissions.

The court reporter responsible for most of the transcripts told the court his production was hindered by a computer malfunction, his own cancer treatment and the amount of work involved in Arias' case and others, while others cited workload issues.

Arias, now 37, was found guilty of attacking Travis Alexander in 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home. Arias stabbed and slashed Alexander nearly 30 times, slit his throat so deeply that she nearly decapitated him, and shot him in the forehead.

She left his body in his shower at his suburban Phoenix home where friends found him about five days later.

Jodi Arias is seen in photo from the Arizona Department of Corrections taken April 13, 2015.  Arias has been moved to Perryville State Prison west of Phoenix to begin serving her sentence of life with no possibility of parole for shooting and stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death in 2008.   REUTERS/Arizona Department of Corrections/Handout   FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - TM3EB4E1PYJ01

Jodi Arias is seen in photo from the Arizona Department of Corrections taken April 13, 2015.  (Arizona Department of Corrections)

Arias initially denied having anything to do with the killing. She later admitted that she killed Alexander but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her.

Prosecutors said it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage after he wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.

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The guilt phase of Arias' trial ended in 2013 with jurors convicting her but deadlocking on punishment. A second sentencing trial began in late 2014 and stretched into early 2015, also resulting in a jury deadlock. That required the judge to impose a prison sentence of life without parole.

She now is serving the life sentence at the Perryville state prison near Phoenix.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.