Hammer Killing case: Woman claims self-defense - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Woman accused of killing husband with a hammer claims self-defense

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

In court Tuesday, it was Marissa DeVault in her own words.

Prosecutors played interrogation tapes of the Gilbert woman who is accused of beating her husband to death with a hammer.

For someone who admits she beat her husband to death with a hammer, DeVault was cheerful and chatty while talking to a police detective.

The interrogation took place January 14, 2009 -- the same day Marissa's husband, Dale Harrell, was found bludgeoned in his bedroom.

Marissa talked about how she met her husband, the children they had together, their friends and her time in school.  Then the detective left the room and Marissa's demeanor changed -- she slumped over, remained motionless for a while and mumbled to herself.

Marissa claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse.  Prosecutors claim she killed her husband for life insurance money and fabricated claims he physically abused her.

Later, she got up and checked her cell phone for messages.

Detective: "How did he hit you?  With his fist?  And where was he hitting on your body?"

Marissa: "And he just kept hitting in the same spot I guess.. my head's not as strong as I'd like to believe it is. We had a joint counselor and I don't remember her name, but I have paperwork for that and we went to her and it seemed to be working.  He did some anger management counseling in groups as well to learn how not to fly off the handle.  Don't get me wrong, I can push buttons and I know I can try not to 'cause I know it can cause problems when I push buttons."

The trial continues Wednesday.

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