Updated 07:21 PM EST, Wed, Dec 08, 2021

Marissa DeVault Trial Update: Jury Deliberations Begin in the 2009 Hammer-Killing

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On Monday, jurors began deliberating the fate of Marissa DeVault, the Arizona woman on trial for allegedly using a hammer to attack and kill her husband in 2009. If convicted, DeVault could be sentenced to the death penalty.

DeVault has been on trial since Feb. 6 at Arizona's Maricopa County Superior Court for the first-degree murder of her husband, Dale Harrell, 34. The 36-year-old mother of three used a claw hammer to bash Harrell's head while he was sleeping in their home on Jan. 14, 2009. He suffered from multiple skull fractures and died almost a month later in a hospice.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that the former stripper killed her husband in order to collect his almost $300,000 life insurance policy and use it to pay off a $360,000 loan to her secret boyfriend. However, defense attorneys maintained that she was a battered wife who killed her spouse in self-defense.

Lawyers on both sides of the case made their closing arguments on March 27, reports KPHO.com.

If DeVault is found guilty of a first-degree murder charge, then it will be up to the jury to decide if there are aggravating factors and if the crime was excessively cruel or was committed for financial gain. In turn, that would qualify DeVault to be sentenced with the death penalty. On the other hand, if DeVault is acquitted or convicted of the lesser crime, then the trial will end.

According to SFGate, jurors resumed deliberations in the trial on Tuesday. Reaching a verdict can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

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