Apr 22, 2014 4:11 PM by Associated Press

Life term sought for woman in hammer-killing trial

PHOENIX (AP) - A lawyer for an Arizona woman convicted of fatally beating her husband with a hammer pleaded with a jury to sentence his client to life in prison instead of imposing the death penalty.

Defense Attorney Alan Tavassoli says Marissa Devault (dev-WAH') isn't a cold-blooded killer but rather a victim of an awful childhood.

Jurors at Devault's trial heard arguments Tuesday from lawyers over her punishment in the 2009 killing of Dale Harrell.

Prosecutor Eric Basta urged jurors to impose the death penalty and said Devault has shown no genuine remorse.

If sentenced to death, Devault would become the third woman on Arizona's death row.

Prosecutors say Devault killed Harrell in a failed bid to collect life insurance money.

Devault claims she acted in self-defense against a physically and sexually abusive husband.

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