Woman Gets Life in Prison for Killing Husband With Hammer

An Arizona woman convicted of killing her husband with a hammer will spend the rest of her life in prison, a judge decided Friday.

Marissa DeVault, 31, was found guilty of first-degree murder on April 8 for bludgeoning her husband with the claw of a hammer at their home in 2009, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty, but a jury spared DeVault after her children testified that the victim, Dale Harrell, 34, repeatedly beat her, according to NBC affiliate AZ Central.

But DeVault's testimonies varied, and the jury decided she should serve a life sentence, leaving Judge Roland Steinle to decide whether she would spend the rest of her life behind bars or have the possibility of parole in 25 years, AZ Central reported.

Friday's decision marked the end of the trial, which began in January.

— Elisha Fieldstadt
Marissa Devault
Marissa Devault looks at the jury as they are polled after finding her guilty of first degree murder, in Maricopa County Superior Court, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Phoenix. Tom Tingle / The Arizona Republic via AP