Arias onlookers say goodbye to trial

May 05, 2013

After more than four months, the Jodi Arias Trial has finally gone to the jury. It’s been a long haul – and not just for the lawyers and media. Since Jan. 2, spectators have been lining up inside the Maricopa County Superior Court to watch the drama unfold.

The trial centers around a woman killing her boyfriend and has become notorious for its gory plotline, but Tanja Schoep said among the spectators at least, the atmosphere is family-like.  Schoep has been lining up inside the Maricopa County Courthouse for more than a month. Sometimes she gets here as early as 6 a.m. to secure one of the dozen or so public seats available.

jodiarias Tanja Schoepf, like a handful of Valley residents, has been in the audience for the Jodi Arias trial almost daily. Arias' fate is now in the hands of jurors.(Photo by Stina Sieg - KJZZ)

The trial’s “emotional,” Schoep said, “up and down and up and down. I can’t describe it.”

But will she miss it?

“No, not at all. Not at all,” she insisted, before breaking into a chuckle. “I do not really need drama.”

Kathy Brown may not need the drama, but she admits she has gotten sucked in. Like a handful of others, she has hardly missed a day for months.

The Paradise Valley resident, who’s on disability, even had Nancy Grace and prosecutor Juan Martinez sign her cane. She jokes she’s only made dinner twice in recent memory. The trial is that all-consuming.

“And I think when this is over, and I go home, and I’m going to be like, ‘What do I do now?’” she said.

As the jury deliberates, Brown and a group of fellow spectators have planned a candlelight vigil – in hopes that Arias is convicted. After that, back to real life.

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