The judge in the Jodi Arias murder case will determine Tuesday when the trial will begin.
Jury selection for the Arias murder trial had been set to begin February 21, but now the trial will be delayed after an attorney for Arias withdrew from the case. On December 23, Arias’ death penalty qualified public defender, Victoria Washington, withdrew from the case. A death penalty qualified defense attorney helps with jury selection, and will play a major role during the sentencing phase if Arias is convicted of first-degree murder.
Judge Sherry Stephens will decide Tuesday just how much time a new attorney will need to get up to speed. There's been a lot speculation about the delay, with some guessing it will only be a couple months and others predicting Arias' trial may not start until 2013. But the judge is the one who gets to decide and Stephens has said the delay will be brief.
The hearing Tuesday is expected to cover these three issues:
Appoint a new public defender
Address motion to dismiss, dealing with the death penalty
Set a new trial date
There is also a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, January 4, but that hearing may not take place if court wraps all of its issues on Tuesday.
Click here to read why the Arias trial may be the biggest trial of the year.
Arias is on trial for the 2008 killing of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander. His body was found in the shower of his Mesa, Arizona, bathroom with his throat cut from ear to ear, a gunshot wound to his face and 27 stab wounds all over his body, police say.