The DeVault Case

Stephen Bavousett and Jacob Harris

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The Case

Marisa DeVault is accused of murdering her husband with a hammer. She originally feigned innocence, but when her story was challenged she confessed to killing her husband. She claims it was in self defense, stating that she acted due to the physical and sexual abuse she had suffered at her husbands hands. This has been challenged due to the fact that she was indebted to her boyfriend, a man she had met on a sugar daddy dating website, and may have wanted the money from her husband's life insurance.


  • Blood spatter from a hammer indicates that it was DeVault who killed him (high velocity spatter is present)
  • DeVault changed stories after her version of events was challenged
  • There was a history of violence in their relationship
  • Her boyfriend testified she had confided plans to murder her husband with him (discounted due to a deal the boyfriend made with prosecution to be let off on child porn charges)
  • She was in debt, and would have earned a large amount of money from the insurance policy

Guilty or Not?

We do not believe that DeVault is guilty of murder. Because there is evidence that she may have acted in self defense due to a proven history of abuse, and only circumstantial evidence that her acts were premeditated, there is not enough evidence to decisively prove she is guilty of murder. No evidence disproves that she acted in self defense.