Jury: Arias guilty of first-degree murder

Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday in the gruesome killing of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona after a trial that captured headlines with lurid tales of sex, lies, religion and a salacious relationship that ended in a blood bath.

Arias, 32, fought back tears and relatives of the victim, Travis Alexander, wept and hugged each other as the verdict was announced in the packed Phoenix courtroom. A huge crowd outside screamed and cheered the news.

The jury of eight men and four women took about 15 hours to reach its verdict after four months of testimony, including 18 days on the witness stand by Arias. The jury will return Thursday to begin the next phase of the trial, which could set the stage for her being sentenced to death.

Alexander, 30, was killed in his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008. Authorities said Arias planned the attack in a jealous rage after he rejected her. Arias first denied involvement but later claimed self-defense.

— Associated Press

Wrigley halts sale of caffeine gum: Wrigley said Wednesday that it is taking its new Alert Energy Caffeine Gum off the market temporarily as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of added caffeine. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.

Colorado to tax pot: The legislature took a major step toward implementing Colorado’s marijuana law Wednesday, passing a bill to impose a tax on sale of recreational pot. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected to sign it.

— From news services