Jodi Arias has taken the stand for a second day in her murder trial.
Defense attorneys for the woman charged with killing her lover continued their case in a Phoenix courtroom Monday, and many people inside the courtroom were surprised when Arias herself took the stand.
Arias is accused of fatally shooting and stabbing Travis Alexander in June 2008 at his Mesa home.
Arias spoke in a halting voice as she described how an idyllic childhood in California turned abusive when she was about 7 years old.
She also said she made false statements early in the investigation about not being at the scene of the crime because she planned to commit suicide and never have a trial.
The 32-year-old could become just the fourth woman on Arizona's death row if convicted.
Defense attorneys have been trying to portray the victim as a liar and cheat who repeatedly deceived his friends and family, claiming he was a devout Mormon saving himself for marriage when he was, in fact, sexually involved with numerous women, including Arias.
Prosecutors claim Arias killed Alexander in a jealous rage. She says it was self-defense.
Alexander was stabbed and slashed 27 times, shot in the forehead and had his throat slit.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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