Jury finds aggravating factor in Devault murder trial - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Jury finds aggravating factor in Devault murder trial

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Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 1:45 pm

Marissa Devault could face the death penalty after jurors on Monday found an aggravating factor in her murder trial.

Devault was convicted in the 2009 death of her husband, Dale Harrell, who was fatally beaten with a hammer.

The jury has already spent two days considering whether there were "aggravating factors" that would make her eligible.

To make her eligible for the death penalty, the jury had to determine that she killed her husband in an especially cruel manner.

If jurors had found Devault didn't qualify for execution, then a judge would have had to sentence her to life in prison.

Attorneys on both sides will now make arguments to jurors on whether she should be imprisoned or executed.

Prosecutors say Devault killed Harrell in an unsuccessful attempt to collect on life insurance money.

Devault says she acted in self-defense against an abusive husband.

The final penalty phase will begin Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

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