Marissa DeVault will spend the rest of her life in prison, the convicted hammer killer learned Friday in a hearing in downtown Phoenix.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle sentenced DeVault to natural life in prison for killing her husband, Dale Harrell, with a claw hammer in 2009.
Steinle was unmoved by pleas of clemency from DeVault's three daughters, who sobbed, held each other and could barely get out their words.
"I've listened very carefully to the girls," Steinle said, adding later, "But the circumstances of this crime are so horrific and were done for nothing but greed."
Steinle found that DeVault, rather than being trapped in an abusive marriage was, in fact, "very manipulative," and showed no remorse for a murder committed "in an especially cruel fashion.
DeVault sobbed on and off throughout the hearing, often trying to steal a glance toward her daughters.
DeVault could have been released after 25 years.
Members of Harrell's family packed two aisles in court. Four of them told the court of a man who loved his killer "with all his heart."
As Steinle summarized, they gripped each other's hands in anticipation of the result they'd hoped for after five years.
DeVault's aging grandparents, seeing the writing on the wall, were escorted out of court for what the judge called a disruption.
A jury convicted DeVault of first-degree murder on April 8, after deliberating for six days.
But the jury spared her the death penalty after she tearfully asked for mercy and after jurors heard her children testify that Harrell, 34, repeatedly beat her.
DeVault's defense was that she killed Harrell in self-defense because he raped and choked her, and abused her for years. But the jury wasn't swayed.
She'd told police conflicting stories. One involved a close friend killing Harrell to defend her.
Prosecutors thought DeVault killed her husband for the insurance money. Police found his body in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor, the right side of his head smashed in.
After the hearing, DeVault lingered near the bench where her daughters sat, talking with her attorneys.
Then she was ushered by bailiffs through the door that would lead back to her cell. She didn't look back.