Prosecutor says hammer killing was premeditated - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Prosecutor says hammer killing was premeditated

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Marissa Suzanne Devault Marissa Suzanne Devault

It's now up to a jury to decide the fate of a Gilbert woman who admitted to police that she killed her husband with a hammer.

Jurors must decide if she did it in cold blood to collect life insurance money? Or did she snap after years in an abusive marriage?

36 year old Marissa Devault ultimately confessed to killing her husband in a bloody beating, hitting him in the head several times with a hammer.

Jurors must decide if she planned the 2009 murder if it was self defense or if she's not guilty at all.

During the month long trial prosecutors painted Devault as a lying, cheating wife a former stripper who had several affairs and owed money to her sugar daddy lover.

Devault could face the death penalty, if the jurors find her guilty

"With the amount of blood sprayed everywhere in that house, there is no question she went into that attack with the intent to kill Dale. It's unmistakable, and the evidence before you shows she had been planning this for a month... and then she did it," said prosecutor Eric Basta.

Marissa Devault's life is now in the hands of a jury. If they find her guilty of first degree murder, she'll be looking at the death penalty.

Prosecutor Eric Basta told the jury Devault's husband was asleep in their bed when he was attacked.

"The damage to his skull is about the size of my fist all of those blows are being delivered in a size this big, a moving target with a hammer are you going to be able to do that," said Basta.

Devault's attorneys want the jury to believe she was acting in self defense.

The last witness called in the case was Devault's oldest daughter, who told the jury about the constant violence between the couple.

"Yeah, there was some mutuality but she said herself dad always hit mom more than mom hit dad," said Devault's attorney, Alan Tavassoli.

Devault's husband, Dale Harrell, did not die right away, after he was hit in the head with a hammer.

The defense implied to the jury if she really wanted her husband dead Devault could've done it differently.

"She called 911 twice, Dale was injured and didn't die right away. He died of a pulmonary embolism 3 weeks later. Finally, if there were guns in the house why weren't they used it seems if it was a planned event, it would've made a lot more sense to use a gun, it would've been the obvious choice," said Tavassoli.

Devault's lover, Allen Flores, was a witness in the case.

He testified that he loaned nearly 300 thousand dollars to Devault during their relationship.

Prosecutors say Devault killed her husband to collect on his life insurance policy in part to pay her lover back.

The jury will begin deliberating the case on Monday.

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