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Publisher's Summary

On January 14, 2009, Marissa DeVault killed her husband, Dale Harrell, by striking him multiple times on the head with a hammer. It seemed like a simple case of murder, but questions remained. Was Dale Harrell a hapless, innocent victim of a brutal killing, or was this the final act of a desperate woman who had suffered through years of domestic violence? The fact that the incident took place in a middle class suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, with the couple's three children within the property at the time, meant nothing.

The questions for the jury were simple. Was the killing premeditated or was it an act of self-defense? Was it done for financial gain? Should the defendant pay for her crime with her life, should she be incarcerated for 25 years to life, or should she receive a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Author Paul Sanders was Juror 13 in a trial packed with twists and turns. He sat every day in court, in a trial which got deep inside the day-to-day lives of a family and eventually delivered justice to a victim. Hear this remarkable true story now and make up your own mind as to the truth behind the Hammer Killing Trial.

©2014 Paul Sanders (P)2017 Paul Sanders

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A Different Angle on True Crime

This was a great story with excellent plot and dynamic twists. I really liked a lot of things about this book. The characters were fascinating and the mysterious circumstances held my interest. There were some problems with the editing and word usage. A few times, the word that the author chose was not used correctly in the sentence. For example the author used “Intent” when the correct word was consent.” I only noticed a handful of things but “all of the sudden” and “for all intensive purposes” really grate on me. He also switched from first person to third person and said things like “one would’ve thought that one would like to go to the park” rather than “I would like to go to the park.” Nit picky, I know, but I expect an editor to catch things like this. One last complaint was that the author said “the time I took my parents to court” so many times. It felt as if that was more the story he wanted to tell.