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April 19, 2014

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Opening statements made at hammer killing trial

Updated Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 | 12:54 p.m.

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors say an Arizona woman accused of fatally beating her husband with a hammer carried out the killing because she thought she could get an insurance settlement that would enable her to pay a $294,000 loan from her boyfriend.

Prosecutor Michelle Arino says Thursday that Marissa Suzanne Devault needed quick money to get out of her deep financial hole.

Devault's attorney raised questions about the credibility of his client's boyfriend, who was given an immunity agreement on child pornography allegations in exchange for his testimony.

Authorities say Devault bludgeoned Dale Harrell in January 2009.

Devault claims her husband had physically and sexually abused her in the past.

Prosecutors say the people who Devault alleged were witnesses to the past abuse didn't back up her claims.