Sheriff says Arias to lose phone, video-chat privileges for 6 weeks for violating jail rules



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PHOENIX — Convicted murderer Jodi Arias will have to go without phone calls and video chats in jail for now unless they have to do with legal matters, the Maricopa County sheriff said Thursday.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that Arias violated several rules, and the jail will enforce disciplinary restrictions for six weeks. According to Arpaio, there was evidence that Arias was trying to avoid having conversations monitored by using other inmates to make phone calls for her. She also is accused of speaking with minors through the jail's video visitation system.

"Arias needs to understand that while she is in my jail, she is to obey all the rules and breaking them has consequences," Arpaio said in a news release.

Other suspended privileges include being able to order commissary items. According to the sheriff, Arias sometimes spend around $100 in a week on candy and other food items. But for now, she will have to stick to the two vegetarian meals served daily by the jail.

Earlier in the week, Arpaio also banned 10 of Arias' visitors, including two 15-year-olds. All of them were found to have violated rules for visits, Arpaio said. Some used cellphones to take photos, and others used false names to gain access to Arias.

A jury last week reached an impasse on whether to sentence Arias to death for killing her former lover, leading to a mistrial and the removal of the death penalty as a possible punishment. The lone holdout juror against the death penalty has reportedly been receiving death threats.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery on Thursday called for an end to the threats, saying there was no justification for such attacks. Jurors' decisions "must be respected if we are to expect fellow citizens to willingly serve in the future," he said.

Arias was convicted of murder in Travis Alexander's death at a 2013 trial that became a global sensation with its revelations about her sexual relationship with the victim and that she had slit his throat so deeply he was nearly decapitated. A new jury was picked to decide her punishment after the first jury deadlocked on that question.

The judge in the retrial will decide on April 13 whether Arias will spend the rest of her life in prison or if she will be eligible for release after serving 25 years.

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