PHOENIX -- The penalty phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial wrapped up for the day Monday after a series of legal arguments in which her defense lawyers asked for a mistrial and to withdraw from the case.
The trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday with Arias speaking to the jury.
The judge denied the defense's request for a mistrial based on a key witness receiving death threats. In protest of the judge's decision, defense lawyers Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott asked to withdraw.
The judge promptly denied that request, too.
The defense then said they have no plans to call any witnesses, sending the court into recess as lawyers worked to resolve the next step. They later decided Arias would speak to the jury Tuesday.
Arias and an ex-boyfriend had been expected to speak to jurors before the panel begins deliberating whether to sentence the 32-year-old Arias to life in prison or execution for murdering her lover in 2008.
Arias was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this month in the death of Travis Alexander. Last week, jurors heard tearful comments from Alexander's brother and sister as they described how his killing has torn their lives apart.
Judge Sherry Stephens instructed jurors they could consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to impose, including Arias' lack of a prior criminal record and assertions that she was a good friend, had an abusive childhood and is a talented artist.
In opening statements, prosecutor Juan Martinez told the panel none of those factors should cause the jury to even consider a sentence other than death, given the brutal nature of the killing.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi explained to jurors that Arias herself would testify this week.
"When you understand who Ms. Arias is, you will understand that life is the appropriate sentence," Nurmi said.
Arias, 32, acknowledged killing Alexander at his suburban Phoenix home on June 4, 2008. She initially denied any involvement and later blamed the attack on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, Arias said she killed Alexander in self-defense.
The victim suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit from ear to ear and was shot in the forehead. Prosecutors say the attack was fueled by jealous rage after Alexander wanted to end his affair with Arias and prepared to take a trip to Mexico with another woman.