Jodi Arias has apparently made a friend behind the bars of Maricopa County Jail. Marissa Devault, 36, is awaiting trial for the murder of her boyfriend and her tale bears striking similarities to that of Arias. She claims that she caught her husband, Dale Harrell sexually abusing their daughter and bashed his head in with a hammer while he slept in January 2009. She is also claiming abuse, and that she suffered from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) Sounding at all familiar?
Also like her jail pal, Devault has told several stories about the events leading to her husband’s death. She first claimed that he had attacked her while she was sleeping, choking her to unconsciousness, only for her to come to with their roommate committing the crime. However, blood stain patterns show that she was not in bed with her husband and that it was, in fact, she wielding the hammer, which was swung back over her head repeatedly. She later confessed, saying she killed him in a rage after he sexually assaulted her. Similarities have even been made as to the appearance of the two women, saying that Devault is “petite and pretty, like Arias, with glasses and wavy auburn hair that reaches well down the middle of her back.” Ugh, just what the world needs, right?
An oddity in the case, Marissa Devault had been dating another man for two years prior to the commission of the murder. This man, Allen Flores, has a computer that is apparently of some value in this case, with Flores’ journal, talking about things from the relationship he carried on with a married woman. Also found on this computer were multiple child pornography images, a crime he has been granted immunity for, in exchange for his testimony regarding the murder of his girlfriends’ husband. Oh what a tangled web.
This case is slated to be the “next big thing” for Arizona murder trials, with jury selection beginning last Wednesday, with opening statements scheduled for the first week of February, and the trial expected to last at least through April. Judge Roland Steinle commented to the effect that Jodi Arias fanatics need not apply. Will Juan Martinez be the prosecutor? Will cameras be allowed in the courtroom? Will this just be a repeat of the Arias trial from last year?
Marissa Devault, like Jodi Arias, faces the death penalty, if found guilty of the premeditated murder of her husband, Dale Harrell. What will become of these two women, who had no difficulty killing in such brutal manners. Is it possible that one, or both of them, may be sentenced to life in prison, and could be paroled within their lifetime? Seems like a scary thought. Does claiming they were victims of abuse somehow give them permission to kill? That doesn’t make sense. Both of these women should be locked away forever. They are not safe to allow into society.
Photo credit: AZ Central