PHOENIX (USA Today) -- Jodi Arias, convicted of first-degree murder of her on-and-off lover, says she was surprised by the jury's verdict Wednesday and hopes for the death penalty over life in prison.
The jury that found her guilty of killing Travis Alexander now faces a decision on whether she deserves execution or a life term in prison.
Arias, who choked back tears as the jury's decision was read, told KSAZ-TV in a courthouse interview after the verdict was announced that she was surprised the jury found her guilty of premeditation in the death of Alexander.
"It was unexpected for me, yes, because there was no premeditation on my part,'' she said.
She said she would "prefer to die sooner than later'' and that "death is the ultimate freedom.''
The Maricopa County sheriff's office said in a statement that Arias was being put on a suicide watch because of her interview comments.