Arias defense accuses prosecution team of misconduct - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Arias defense accuses prosecution team of misconduct

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Searcy (left), Hughes (right) Searcy (left), Hughes (right)

As the defense gets ready to present its case in the Jodi Arias murder trial, attorneys are arguing over whether the prosecution is guilty of misconduct.

It's a pretty serious accusation, and Monday in court, the exchanges got heated.

The defense is trying to claim that a witness had improper contact with the prosecutor's office, but as you will see, the prosecution quickly fired back. With the jury not in courtroom, attorneys went at it.

The defense called Gus Searcy, who owns a company Arias and the victim, Travis Alexander, once worked for.

Searcy claims to have gotten a text message and eventually talked to Chris Hughes, a friend of Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander, who knew he may be testifying for the defense in the trail.

"'Heard you were on Jodi's witness list, any idea why?'" testified Searcy. "He said something to the effect. He was working with the prosecution and he was talking to them and he was watching TV... I was pretty surprised cause I had no idea what was going on."

Prosecutor Juan Martinez questioned the Searcy's motive for getting involved.

Martinez: "Isn't it your reputation that you want to make yourself the center of attention?"

Searcy: "Where do you get that from?"

Martinez: "I am asking you a question sir, you don't get to ask me questions."

Searcy: "No."

Martinez: "Isn't it true that you want to use this situation so that the limelight can be focused on you?"

Searcy: "No."

In a surprise move, Martinez called the man who sent the text message, Chris Hughes. He denied talking with the prosecution.

Martinez: "Prior to yesterday when was the last day that you spoke to the prosecutor?"

Hughes: "Years ago."

Martinez: "How many years ago?"

Hughes: "3 years ago."

On the stand, Hughes did say what Searcy told him during their phone call.

"'I have got information that will either hurt her or help her and it just depends,'" testified Hughes.

Just last week, the judge denied a defense request for mistrial. It's still not clear exactly what the defense is accusing the prosecution of doing here.

Attorneys will be back at it on Tuesday.

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