Hammer Killer

By: Jessica Kelly

The Case

In Maricopa County, Arizona, Marissa Devault is on trial for murdering her husband Dale Harrell via hammer in January 2009. According to Marissa, she was acting in self defense but evidence shows otherwise. Prosecutors thinks she killed him for insurance money Eventually as new evidence showed up she started changing her story giving more reason to believe it was intentional.

The Evidence

Marissa Devault was in debt giving reason to her kill her husband for insurance claim. Devault had a boyfriend on the side which prosecutors used as Testimonial Evidence saying that Marissa told him about the planned attack and even allegedly tried to hire a hitman. The blood splatter caused by a blunt object and showed a Cast-Off type of blood splatter which means that it was not accidental because you would have to be dominant in the attack and over someone to send the blood flying which was the case in this Devault situation. This allowed it to connect to Marissa killing her husband.

Murder or Self Defense?

If Marissa was acting in self-defense than there would be a different blood type other than Cast-Off, but Cast-Off showed that clearly she was dominant than her husband so self defense would have stopped when he was down. I think she murdered her husband because she was not happy in her marriage hence the boyfriend, she was in debt and her husbands life insurance would fix that. her story changed to go with new evidence multiple times, her boyfriends testimony even though it was discredited, are all signs of a liar and give reasonable cause to murder her husband.