Marissa DeVault recently made headlines after she was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of her husband. DeVault beat her husband to death with a hammer. Police found Harrell’s body in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor, and the right side of his head was smashed in. This decision came in after five years — DeVault was originally convicted of murder back in 2009 — following the jury’s six-day deliberation.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle made the ruling this past Friday. Judge Steinle’s ruling came after the victim’s family, children of the defendant and victim, and attorney’s on both sides addressed the court. Judge Steinle appeared to be unmoved by pleas for clemency from DeVault’s three daughters, who sobbed, held each other, and could barely get their words out. DeVault cried on and off throughout the hearing as she constantly tried to catch a glance of her girls.
Judge Steine said:
“I’ve listened very carefully to the girls, but the circumstances of the crime are so horrific and were done for nothing but greed.”
Originally the jury spared Marissa the death penalty because they thought her husband was abusive. Jurors heard testimony from her children that Harrell, her husband, repeatedly beat her.
What influenced Judge Steinle’s decision was that he found out that DeVault wasn’t in an abusive marriage at all. In fact, she was actually “very manipulative” and showed no remorse for a murder committed in such a cruel fashion. If it wasn’t for that DeVault could have been released after 25 years in prison.
DeVault’s original defense was that she killed Harrell in self defense because he raped, choked her, and abused her for years. However, the jury wasn’t totally convinced due the fact that she told police conflicting stories. One of the stories involved a close friend killing Harrell to defend DeVault. Prosecutors argued that DeVault killed her husband for the insurance money.
Harrell’s family members packed two aisles in the court, but four of them told the court of a man who loved his killer “with all his heart.” The grandparents of DeVault were escorted out of the courtroom due to a disruption.The daughters of DeVault were holding hands in anticipation of the sentence they waited five years to hear.
After the hearing DeVault walked to a nearby bench where her daughters sat, talking to her attorneys. Then Marissa DeVault was ushered by bailiffs through the door that led back to her cell.
[Image via en.wikipedia.org]