A Gilbert woman accused of bludgeoning her husband with a hammer was found beaten in a field eight hours after he died, according to court records and a police report.

Marissa-Suzanne DeVault, 31, told police she had no idea who attacked her at 3 a.m. Feb. 10 as she jogged near her home in the area of Maplewood Street and Greenfield Road. DeVault suffered a broken jaw and a broken ankle.

Woman now faces charges in husband's death

Last month, DeVault was indicted on a count of attempted second-degree murder in connection with a Jan. 14 attack on Dale Harrell, 34, that left him with a crushed skull and fighting for his life.

He died Feb. 9, and police arrested DeVault on Friday on suspicion of second-degree murder.

DeVault first told police that a man who shared the $500,000 home in the 2100 block of East Maplewood Street with the couple hit Harrell with a claw hammer as Harrell choked and tried to rape her.

The man also told police he struck Harrell, but he also said he suffered brain damage in a motorcycle accident and had memory problems.

Police didn’t believe DeVault because the blood stains at the scene suggested he was attacked while he laid on his left side in the bed, and she couldn’t have been underneath him.

When detectives told DeVault the evidence didn’t fit her story, she admitted to repeatedly hitting him in the head with the hammer as he slept alone in their bed.

“She further stated the number of strikes was unknown, but she hit him as many times as he had assaulted her and she wanted him to feel the pain she had felt,” an investigator wrote in court documents.

Their three daughters, ages 13, 8 and 6, were in the house at the time of the incident.

An initial check of police records doesn’t turn up any domestic violence reports involving DeVault.

Sgt. Mark Marino, Gilbert police spokesman, declined comment because the case is still under investigation.

There are also no records of domestic violence involving the couple in Maricopa County Superior Court.

The roommate who took the initial blame in the hammer attack is also a key figure in DeVault’s beating.

The man said he watched some movies with DeVault and then she went jogging.

He began to worry when she hadn’t returned in a while.

Police found her about eight to 10 feet from the road in a damp and muddy blue sweat suit after she called 911.

A set of tire tracks led from the roadside near where they found her.

DeVault said she was heading toward her home when someone jumped her from behind.

A detective questioning the roommate noticed he had mud on his jacket and blood on his pants, according to the police report.

The roommate said the mud came from his SUV and the blood came from his fingers, which no longer had nails because he had bitten them completely off.

Police seized his pants, shirt, socks and shoes as evidence.

According to the police report, DeVault said the couple had marital problems and she had contacted a lawyer to start getting a divorce.

The police report was heavily redacted, including pages summarizing her statements to an investigator.

Court records show there was a lawsuit filed against the couple and the roommate in November, which includes among other allegations, breach of contract, theft and fraud.

According to the lawsuit, the couple were renting the home they lived in with the option to buy, but they quit making their lease payments.

DeVault, Harrell and the roommate denied the allegations.

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