Marissa Devault case

By: Bharati Murthy and Andrea McKinney

Explanation

In 2009, Marissa Devault was charged and found guilty of first degree murder for killing her husband brutally with a hammer. She claimed that it was an act of self defense and that Dale Harrell had physically and sexually abused her for years on multiple accounts, driving her to hit him while he was asleep. Harrell later died in the hospital due to the severity of his injuries. When the police arrived at the home, they found her hysterical and covered in blood. Her story evolved over time. Devault initially said that someone else attacked her husband. The investigators suspected that she was killed him to acquire his insurance money. She later admitted to killing her husband and explained that he had abused her. Melissa Devault was found guilty of killing her husband.

Medium velocity blood splatter from the crime scene

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Blood Splatter evidence from the video

Blood splatter is important evidence that investigators use in order to determine the location of the killer. There are three main types: passive, medium velocity, and cast off. Passive blood splatter is just the dripping of blood onto a surface. ( Round in shape) Medium velocity blood splatter has an oval like shape with a tail, and reveals the direction in which the weapon was swung. The cast off blood splatter is usually small and has a small tail. It is created when the weapon is swung over the head or behind and then brought forward again for killing. The blood on the weapon travels over the head and shoulder and splatters on the surface behind and sometimes the ceiling.

Medium velocity blood splatter from the crime scene

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Personal Opinion

We both agree that Melissa Devault murdered her husband, not out of self defense. Despite having a tense relationship with occasions of physical abuse, it was wrong of her kill him by repeatedly hitting him with the hammer. *She could have just divorced him* At the time, Devault was seeing another man which makes her look suspicious because that would be a motive to kill. We also believe that she might have killed her husband in order to collect his life insurance money. *another motive for killing*.

Medium velocity/cast off blood splatter from crime scene

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