Arizona woman sentenced to life in prison for killing husband with a hammer

By Amanda Holtzer,

Marissa DeVault, 36, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for fatally beating her husband with a hammer in 2009. The judge also denied her request for a chance at parole after serving 25 years.

Fox 10 reports that DeVault killed Harrell in 2009 in a failed attempt to collect money on his life insurance policy. She owed a debt of about $300,000 in loans to her boyfriend.

She told investigators that it was an act of self-defense, and that Harrell and physically and sexually abused her in the past. Prosecutors said there were no records to support that claim.

The jury that convicted DeVault in the 2009 murder sentenced her to a life sentence. The purpose of Friday’s hearing was to determine whether or not she would become eligible for parole after serving 25 years in prison.

During the hearing, DeVault’s three daughters made extremely emotional statements, pleading the judge to give their mother a chance at parole. Azcentral reports that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle said, “I’ve listened very carefully to the girls. But the circumstances of this crime are so horrific and were done for nothing but greed" and said DeVault was manipulative and doesn't feel guilt for her actions.

Marissa DeVault, 36, will serve a sentence of life in prison, without the chance of parole.



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