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Marissa Devault Hammer Murder Trial Update: Jury to Decide Death Penalty or Life in Prison for 2009 Killing of Husband

First Posted: Apr 29, 2014 01:31 PM EDT
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Marissa Devault

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Juror deliberations to decide the fate of Marissa Devault, the Arizona woman convicted of using a hammer to viciously attack and kill her husband in 2009, will continue Tuesday afternoon.

Starting at 1 p.m., the jury that found Devault guilty of first-degree murder will decide whether she should get life in prison or be sentenced to death, according to a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Superior Court, reports CBS 5.

The 36-year-old mother of three used a claw hammer to bash her 34-year-old husband Dale Harrell's head while he was sleeping in their home on Jan. 14, 2009. He suffered 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.

After being found guilty, on April 14 the jury found one aggravating factor that would make her eligible for execution, however, it was unable to reach a verdict on a second aggravating factor. If no aggravating factors are found, then a judge will sentence DeVault to life in prison, either with or without parole, reports AZfamily.com.

Last week, Devault delivered a tearful 11-minute plea for her life, telling the jurors that she was sorry for killing her husband, reports My Fox Phoenix.

"I've always been willing to accept full responsibility for my actions on the morning of January 14th, there were so many confusing difficult emotions and actions that I'm horrified by the untimely demise of Dale," said Devault.

Devault also said that she is sorry for her actions and that she regrets the pain that she caused.

"I can't do anything more than say I'm sorry, I can't push a back button, I can't bring him back, I can't fix everything that was wrong, I don't even know where to go back to if I had this button. I truly regret what happened and I wish I could fix it," she said.

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