Hammer Attack Trial: Wife faces death penalty if convicted - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Hammer Attack Trial: Wife faces death penalty if convicted

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Marissa DeVault Marissa DeVault
PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Graphic testimony in the Marissa DeVault trial -- the woman accused of beating her husband to death with a hammer.

On Tuesday, the firefighters who arrived first at the home took the stand and we also learned new information about a possible motive.

We mostly heard from detectives and firefighters who either first responded to the crime scene or talked with the suspect.

The prosecution is laying the foundation trying to establish Marissa DeVault's motive for killing her husband with hammer.

She claims this was all in self-defense, but police say it was about money and prosecutors believe she was looking to collect on a life insurance policy that detectives say took effect on January 1, 2009 -- and the hammer attack happened about two weeks later.

We learned that Marissa DeVault owed a lover about $300,000 and according to documents found at that lover's house, that loan was coming due.

Some of the most dramatic testimony came from the first responders, the firefighters who took the victim to hospital.  Here's how they described the scene and suspect:

"There was a nightstand on the left hand side of him.. and there was a hammer that was sitting on the stand," said Gilbert firefighter Jonathan Gilmore.

"Based on your experience, did that hammer have any substance on it?" asked an attorney.

"Yes, it did.  It appeared to have blood," replied Gilmore.

The judge ended the day just as the lead detective took the stand.  That detective is expected to be back Wednesday.

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