Verdict reached in Arizona hammer-killing trial

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of an Arizona woman accused of fatally beating her husband with a hammer in 2009.

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say the verdict will be read at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after six days of jury deliberations.

Marissa Suzanne Devault (dev-WAH') claims she killed her husband in self-defense at their Gilbert home. Devault told investigators that Dale Harrell had physically and sexually abused her in the past.

Prosecutors contend the January 2009 attack on Harrell was premeditated. They're seeking the death penalty.

They say Devault gave conflicting accounts of her husband's death, and people who reportedly witnessed some of the past abuse didn't back her claims.

Nearly a month after the attack, Harrell died at a hospice of complications from head injuries.

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