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On Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, Jodi Arias listens to an audiotape of a phone call between her and Travis Alexander, the man she says she killed in self-defense. / Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX - The torrid sex life that Jodi Arias shared with the man she killed was on display Tuesday in court as defense lawyers played an hour-long audiotape of a phone conversation recorded less than a month before the murder.

On the tape, Arias and Travis Alexander talked about their travels, their many trysts and then indulged in loud and lurid phone sex - confirming many of the allegations she described Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court, that Alexander asked Arias to act out his sexual fantasies and submit to sodomy.

Arias, 32, is charged with first-degree murder in Alexander's death. In June 2008, he was found dead in the shower of his Mesa, Ariz., home, his throat slit, with 27 stab wounds and a bullet in his head.

If convicted, Arias could face the death penalty. She is claiming she killed in self-defense.

Arias sat on the witness stand with her head in her hands throughout the afternoon, the mortification showing on her face as the tape played. Later, as she answered questions about the tape from her lead lawyer Kirk Nurmi, she seemed tired and downcast, but she answered his questions in painful detail.

At one point during the recording, which prosecutor Juan Martinez tried to keep out of evidence, Alexander said he wanted to zip-tie her to a tree and commit a deviant sex act on her. Later in the hearing, Arias said she was searching for a suitable spot in the forest near her grandparents' Northern California home to act out that fantasy, and she said that Alexander wanted her to dress as Little Red Riding Hood.

"I like how you play any role you need to," Alexander said to her during the tape, which Arias claimed Alexander asked her to record.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the conversation is the easy rapport between the killer and the victim. They laugh and joke and compliment each other like people who share a deep friendship as well as lust and passion.

Weeks later, Arias killed Alexander.

During the ensuing testimony, nothing seemed off-limits as Nurmi questioned Arias, not even the lovers' preferences in "personal lubricants" and their use of sex toys.

But Nurmi pressed Arias on another theme: Arias said she went along with Alexander's wishes because he could become "Mr. Hyde" if she refused, referring to the Robert Louis Stevenson classic about a man with an evil arch persona. She described more instances in which he would assault her in anger and then phone her to come to his house for "make-up sex," which she said usually involved sodomy. She lent him money to cover balances in his checking account, which made her own bills go unpaid.

"He needed it," she said.

Nurmi repeatedly asked her why she continued to see Alexander if he was cruel to her.

"I was making a string of bad choices in my life during that time," she answered.

Arias returns to the witness stand Wednesday.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Ariz. jury hears phone call about trysts, phone sex

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