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Jodi Arias’s Former Attorney Describes Representing Her as ‘Involuntary Servitude’

The former attorney for convicted murderer Jodi Arias had some strong words when speaking about his old client.

“She makes a choice to go after the men that she believes have wronged her,” explained Kirk Nurmi during a Wednesday appearance on Law & Crime Now. While Nurmi attempted to set the record straight that he does not “loathe” Arias, he did say he’s “not a fan.”

Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for the 2008 killing of her on-again-off-again boyfriend Travis Alexander. Nurmi, who famously represented the Arizona woman in her widely publicized trial, was intensely disliked by many trial watchers simply for defending her.

Nurmi believes people may have a “misunderstanding” though about his choice to represent Arias.

“I was court-ordered to keep her case even after I left the public defender’s office. So I had obligations to tell her story,” Nurmi said. It was a time that Arias’s former lawyer characterized as “involuntary servitude.”

What about  those who supported Arias during her trial, and perhaps those who were critical of Nurmi’s failure to get an acquittal—a group Nurmi calls “Jodi’s Cult.”

“I don’t think too much about what they think because they have all sorts of weird theories and I really don’t pander to them or pay any real attention to them,” he said.

Nurmi also seemed to shift his theory on what happened to Alexander. Back in 2013, Nurmi attempted to persuade the jury that Arias did not murder the 30-year old salesman, but instead killed him in the heat of passion, which would have equated to a conviction for the lesser crime of manslaughter. However, in 2020, Nurmi has a different idea.

“I believe Ms. Arias went over to Mr. Alexander’s house. I believe there were some issues…um she was trying to get some things from him, and things turned into murder,” Nurmi explained. He advised that people could read more about his thoughts in his latest book, Trapped With Ms. Arias.

That book provided behind-the-scenes details and conversations regarding his famed representation. It led to Arias suing Nurmi, alleging breach of attorney-client privilege for revealing arguably confidential information. It also led to Nurmi forfeiting his law license after a bar complaint was filed against him. Does he have any regrets about publishing the tell-all or does he think he went too far?

“I don’t think so,” Nurmi answered. “[Arias] had made some, told some lies about me. Basically saying that the defense that Mr. Alexander was an abusive pedophile was my idea when it wasn’t.”

Nurmi went on to say that he would have “let it go” but blames the stress surrounding Arias as the cause for his cancer diagnosis.

“Given that Ms. Arias, as we know, let’s put it mildly, has a propensity to slander the legacy of the deceased, I did not want to give her the opportunity to do that without imposing truth upon her lies,” Nurmi reasoned.

Nurmi also provide his insight into Juan Martinez, the prosecutor who tried and obtained the conviction against Arias, but was recently fired from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office amid an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct and sexual harassment. “You won’t see me defending his behavior in the court,” Nurmi said.

Last month, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed Arias’s murder conviction and rejected her request for a new trial. Nurmi appears to agree: “Justice played out … she’s where she should be.”

[Mugshot of Arias via Arizona Department of Corrections]

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Jesse Cord Weber is a New York attorney. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Jesse attended New York Law School (NYLS). During his time in NYLS, he served as a staff editor on the school’s Law Review and was recognized as a John Marshall Harlan Scholar affiliated with The Institute for Information Law and Policy. Jesse received Dean's List honors every semester and graduated cum laude . After passing the New York State Bar Exam, Jesse practiced in the intellectual property and litigation departments of Dentons (formerly Salans); the world’s largest law firm. He specialized in trademark and copyright prosecution and disputes for clients in the fashion & apparel, financial, entertainment, and technology industries, and was actively involved in several notable litigations, including the City of Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which was the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history. Currently, he is a project manager and legal counsel for a consulting company. Jesse is admitted to practice in New York as well as the United States Southern and Eastern District Federal Courts. Jesse studies and analyzes high profile criminal and civil cases in the media. Aside from being a host on the Law and Crime Network, Jesse is also the legal correspondent for "Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen," a legal analyst on Fox News and HLN, and he co-hosts alongside his father "Always In Fashion" airing on 77 WABC Radio. Additionally, Jesse is a trained actor from The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and has appeared in commercials, independent films, and television shows.