Marissa Suzanne Devault - Arizona

Marissa Suzanne Devault has just finished the opening statements phase of her murder trial. She is accused of bludgeoning her husband to death with a hammer as he slept five years ago. Marissa claims that her husband, Dale Harrell, was physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to her throughout the previous years. She claims self defense.

Authorities have investigated and come to a far different conclusion. They say the witnesses to the alleged abuse do not back these claims. They say Marissa has given conflicting stories of her husband's murder and that the murder was premeditated.

The death penalty is on the table.

Dale Harrell was 34 years old. Autopsy reports show he suffered multiple skull fractures and died a month later from the injuries.

Initially, Marissa told authorities that her husband, in a fit of rage, strangled her until she lost consciousness and when she awoke, saw her roommate beating her husband with a hammer. Investigators say evidence on the scene does not show this. Eventually, she said she attacked him in his sleep after a violent sexual encounter earlier in the evening.

Now insert Allen Flores into the picture. A search of Marissa's computer revealed a two year relationship with Flores. A subsequent search of Flores computer revealed an e-journal in which he detailed giving Marissa $7,000 to hire a hitman. They also found a considerable amount of child pornography.

Flores was offered immunity in the child pornography charges in exchange for his testimony in the murder trial. The immunity agreement doesn't prevent authorities from filing pornography charges against Devault. Instead, the agreement bars authorities from using any statement that Flores makes during the murder trial in a pornography case, said Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting Devault.

The reigning theory is that marissa killed her husband for insurance money in order to pay back a hefty loan of nearly $300,000 to her boyfriend, Allen Flores.

In opening statements Thursday, Prosecutor Michelle Arino said; 'The defendant likes money, and she likes easy money,' Much doubt about the credibility of Flores was established as well.

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