Trial begins for Ariz. woman in hammer killing - New York News

Trial begins for Ariz. woman in hammer killing

Posted: Updated:
Marissa Suzanne Devault Marissa Suzanne Devault

By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Five years ago, an Arizona woman was arrested on allegations that she fatally wounded her husband by bludgeoning him over the head with a hammer as he lay asleep in bed.

Marissa Suzanne Devault claims the killing of Dale Harrell was an act of self-defense and told investigators that her husband had physically and sexually abused her in the past.

But authorities say Devault has given conflicting accounts of her husband's death and that witnesses who Devault claimed had witnessed some of the past abuse didn't back up her claims.

Jury selection began Wednesday in Devault's first-degree murder trial.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Lawyers are expected to make opening statements during the first week of February.

The trial is expected to last until at least April.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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