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Arias defense costs top $2 million

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PHOENIX (AP) -

Jodi Arias' legal bills have topped $2 million, a tab that's being paid by Arizona taxpayers and will continue to climb with a new penalty phase set for March.

Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick tells The Associated Press the county has paid nearly $2.2 million for her court-appointed attorneys, expert witnesses and other costs associated with Arias' defense.

The 33-year-old was convicted of murder in May, but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on her sentence. Prosecutors are now pursuing a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort to get the death penalty. Trial is set for March 17.

Arias admitted she killed her boyfriend in 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home but claimed it was self-defense. Prosecutors argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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