Arizona woman to be sentenced in hammer killing

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PHOENIX (AP) — A judge is expected to formally impose a life sentence on an Arizona woman convicted of fatally beating her husband with a hammer.

The purpose of Friday's hearing is to determine whether Marissa Devault (dehv-WAH') will spend the rest of her life in prison for the January 2009 killing of Dale Harrell or become eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

The jury that found Devault guilty of first-degree murder spared her the death penalty and instead imposed a life sentence.

Devault's attorneys are seeking the lesser sentence.

It's unclear whether prosecutors are seeking the more severe sentence.

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

Devault says she carried out the killing in self-defense against a physically and sexually abusive husband.

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