(PHOENIX) -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias was forced to demonstrate in court Thursday how she claims her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander lunged at her "like a linebacker," causing her to fire a handgun at him during the argument in 2008 that left Alexander dead.
Arias and prosecutor Juan Martinez argued over how exactly Alexander was positioned when he allegedly tackled her to the ground on the day she killed him on June 4, 2008. Arias repeatedly described Alexander's actions as coming at her "like a linebacker," and Martinez pushed her to explain what she meant.
"He lunges at me like a linebacker," Arias said.
"Like a linebacker, what does that mean?" Martinez asked.
"He was low. It was almost like he dove," she said, and trying to explain it further, "'He was like a linebacker' is the only way I can describe it unless I get up to act it out, which I'd rather not do."
"Go ahead and do it," Martinez said. "Just stand. Go ahead."
Judge Sherry Stephens initially cleared the court as Arias demonstrated and then Martinez had her do it again after the jury and spectators were allowed back into the courtroom.
Standing and moving away from the witness box, Arias bent at the waist and spread out her arms and meekly made a slight lunging motion.
According to her testimony, Arias fired the gun as Alexander rushed at her, tackling her to the ground. She said she does not remember how she stabbed or slashed him.
Arias, 32, is accused of killing Alexander on June 4, 2008 out of jealousy. He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice.
Arias claims she killed in self-defense after Alexander had become increasingly violent with her. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
It was a day of dramatics and anger as the prosecution pressed Arias on the details of the killing. At one point Arias dissolved into tears, unable to answer pointed questions when shown a photo of Alexander's body lying crumpled in bottom of the stall shower.
After a short pause, Martinez asked dryly, "Were you crying when you were shooting him?"
"I don't remember," Arias moaned.
"Were you crying when you stabbed him?" he said. "How about when you slashed his throat?"
"I don't remember, I don't know."
Martinez pressed on, "You're the one that did this right? And lied about all this right?"
"So then take a look at it," he barked.
Arias did not answer Martinez's question, crying into her hands instead. The judge, after a moment, called for the lunch recess to take a break from the testimony. Arias' attorney walked over and consoled her, telling her to "take a moment."
Until that moment, Arias had given vague answers to Martinez as he asked about the hours leading up to the murder. Arias, 32, has testified that she drove to Alexander's house on June 4, 2008, for a sexual liaison, that she had sex with Alexander and the pair took nude photos before an explosive confrontation ended with her killing him. She claims she doesn't remember stabbing Alexander, but insists it was in self-defense.
Martinez questioned her claims, asking exactly what they argued about and who encouraged whom to take the nude photos. He pointed out that Arias told Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa police department that she had to convince Alexander to take the nude photos in the shower, but that she testified on the stand that Alexander had wanted them.
Arias said that both her statements were true.
Martinez tried to walk Arias through the moments when she claims Alexander erupted in a fury when she dropped his camera while taking nude pictures of him in the shower and then bodyslammed her onto the bathroom floor.
Arias claims she fled into a walkthrough closet where she grabbed a gun that Alexander kept on a shelf. Martinez suggested that if she left the closet and ran down stairs on her right, she would have been safe.
"No, I would have been dead," Arias replied.
When Martinez pressed the point by repeating the question, Arias said, "Only if I was suicidal."
The prosecutor also suggested that the closet was so small that things must have happened faster than Arias was indicating.
"It's a very small closet, isn't it," Martinez asked.
"No, it's bigger than the cell I live in," she answered.
A clearly angered Martinez said, "Take that attitude....Is there an issue here?"
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