Jury mulls whether woman is eligible for execution

Jury mulls whether woman is eligible for execution

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Marissa Devault (file) Marissa Devault (file)

A jury convicted a Gilbert woman in the death of her husband. That same jury is deliberating again trying to decide if Marissa Devault should be eligible for the death penalty to be carried out.

Devault was found guilty of first degree murder after killing her husband with a hammer, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Jurors have to find two aggravating factors for Devault to be eligible for the death. They have to find she killed her husband in an especially cruel way, and she did it for money.
Prosecutors say Marissa Devault chose to kill her husband by beating him with a hammer because she wanted him to suffer, in an especially cruel way.

"She raised it above her head with both hands, and with all her might she plowed that hammer into Dale's head. She did again, and again, and again, and again," said prosecutor Michelle Arino.

Devault hit her husband over the head at least 5-times. Prosecutors say she did this to collect two life insurance policies worth more than a million dollars,  the state says she also wanted revenge.

"She wanted Dale to feel it, she wanted him to fee it for every time he touched her, she wanted him to know what it felt like, she wanted him to experience pain, she made that very clear," said Arino.

Defense attorneys continue to say Devault only killed her husband in self-defense after years of abuse.

"If she wanted him to feel more pain don't you think she would have used the claw side of the hammer, that would have caused a lot more damage, a lot more damage," said Devault's attorney, Alan Tavassoli.

Devault's attorney also said she did not kill her husband for money and never got an insurance payout.

"If she had planned to do this why would she pick such a low amount, and why would she pick up an accidental death policy when she couldn't collect anything," said Tavassoli.

Deliberations will resume Monday at 10:30 a.m.

All 12-jurors have to agree on those two aggravating factors money and cruelty.

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