Marissa Devault Murder Case

Maria and Kirsten

Overview of case

Dale Harrell was murdered by his wife Marissa DeVault. She entered the master bedroom and struck Harrell several times in the head while he was sleeping. Harrell received multiple skull fractures and was taken to the hospital. DeVault initially claimed that he had been beaten by an unknown assailant. She later confessed that she had beaten Harrell as an act of self defense because he had allegedly abuse her physically and sexually. She was arrested for aggravated assault and later indicted for murder. The jury sentenced DeVault to life in prison instead of death penalty.

Evidence and explanation

Most of the evidence in the crime scene was blood spatter aside from the murder weapon (hammer). The analysis of the blood spatter painted the picture for the detectives. There were 3 types of blood spatter in the room. Medium velocity blood spatter from the hammer, cast off blood spatter after hitting the person moves/casts the weapon back, and passive stain; when the weapon drips.

Self defense or murder?????

We believe that it was murder for two reasons the first being the insurance money Marissa would collet after the death of her husband. Secondly the murder weapon was a hammer, who has a hammer in their bedroom? If it had been self defense she would have hit him with an object from their bedroom.