Marissa Devault's trial resumes in hammer killing of her husband - KPTV - FOX 12

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Marissa Devault's trial resumes in hammer killing of her husband

Posted: Updated:
Marissa Devault. (Source: Gilbert Police Department) Marissa Devault. (Source: Gilbert Police Department)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

The trial of an Arizona woman accused of fatally beating her husband with a hammer while he was sleeping resumed Tuesday for a third day of testimony.

In opening statements Thursday, prosecutors said Marissa Suzanne Devault carried out the killing because she thought she could get an insurance settlement that would enable her to pay a $294,000 loan from her boyfriend.

Prosecutor Michelle Arino said Devault needed quick money to get out of her deep financial hole.

Devault's attorney raised questions about the credibility of his client's boyfriend, who was given an immunity agreement on child pornography allegations in exchange for his testimony.

Witnesses began to testify Thursday afternoon before the session wrapped for the day.

The defense says Devault killed her husband, Dale Harrell, in self-defense after enduring verbal, physical and sexual abuse by Harrell.

But authorities say she has given conflicting accounts of exactly what happened.

Prosecutors say evidence shows Devault struck Harrell in the head with a hammer as he slept on Jan. 14, 2009.

The defense says Devault told Harrell she wanted a divorce, they got in a physical fight and she struck him with a hammer.

Devault in 2011 also filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit against Maricopa County Jail officials after she said doctors failed to properly diagnose an infection in her leg.

The 33-year-old Devault said her ankle was broken Feb. 9, 2009, when she was jogging and was attacked by a stranger.

Her injury occurred the day her husband died of his injuries from the suspected hammer attack at a hospice about a month later.

Prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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