Hammer Killer (Marissa Devault)

Emily Martin and Redding Johnson

The Case

This case takes place in Maricopa County, Arizona, where a woman named Marissa Devault was accused of having bludgeoned her husband to death with a hammer. She claims that it was in self defense- that her husband was sexually and physically abusing her, and that she grabbed a hammer and struck him on the head to get him to stop suffocating her. Her husband died later in hospice. Initially, Devault denied that she killed her husband, and then later confessed to it, stating the abuse excuse, and then later changed her story. Detectives look to forensic evidence to see how this really played out- if it was murder, or self defense.


Blood spatter evidence indicates that Marissa was the one that repeatedly struck her husband in his sleep. The blood on her clothes is excessive and congruent with other evidence pointing to the angle she was at, proving her to be the killer.

Her boyfriend, Allen Flores, testified that she had made plans to murder her husband. Also, Flores loaned $300,000 to her, which she was desperate to pay back- and her husband had a $1 million life insurance policy. Devault was also in debt.

Devault contacted an ex-lover, asking him to off her husband. The ex stated that he wanted nothing to do with the scheme, and nothing to do with Devault.

Psychiatrists differed on views on whether or not Devault was a psychopath, although the testimony of one has several indications that Devault has psychopathic tendencies.

Personal Opinions

Personally, we believe that Devault murdered her husband. Many relatives and friends can testify to the fact that she had made elaborate plans to off her husband. Her boyfriend, Flores, even states that she was supposed to hire a hit man with the $300,000 that he loaned her. Not only that, but Devault also attempted to hire an ex-lover to off her husband-but the ex said that he wanted nothing to do with it or Devault. Also, Devault's financials indicated that she was in debt, but that her husband had a $1 million life insurance policy. Authorities believed that she killed him for the money. We believe the same.


Devault was convicted of murder, and given a life sentence in prison. She is able to appeal for early release after 25 years.