Opening statements set for hammer killing trial - KMSP-TV

Opening statements made at hammer killing trial

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A valley woman is accused of beating her husband to death with a hammer while he slept. She told police it was self defense but prosecutors called it first degree murder and are pushing for the death penalty.

Opening statements and testimony began in the trial which some compare to the Jodi Arias case.
    
Jurors were shown the picture of the bloody hammer used to kill Dale Harrell. His wife Marissa Devault was emotional at times during the first day of trial.
    
"She set her plan in action to kill Dale Harrell because she thought she would come into millions of dollars from these insurance policies, and this would be her way out," said Michelle Arino, a prosecutor.
    
Prosecutors say Devault killed her husband for a million dollar insurance settlement so she could pay $294,0000 she owed her boyfriend.
    
"The night she killed Dale Harrell was planned, she planned it out for a long time. It wasn't Stan. It was her," said Arino.
    
Defense attorneys say Devault was a battered woman who only killed her husband in self defense after he beat her and raped her that night.

"It would have so much easier, so much less messy, look at my client look at how tiny she is. Dale was a big guy why would she take a hammer and hit him over the head when there were guns in the house and she was planning this," said Allan Tavassoli, Devault's attorney.
    
Defense attorneys also say Devault boyfriend Alan Flores controlled her and everything behind the scenes.
    
"Mr. Flores is a very rich man so he uses his money his fiances to control other people and you're going to hear testimony and see testimony that he is a master manipulator," said Tavassoli.
    
Flores was given immunity on child porn allegations in order to testify against Devault.

Follow this story: Trial begins for Ariz. woman in hammer killing


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