They were the spouses from hell.

In separate cases heard in New Jersey courts, a man and a woman are being sent to state prison after killing their respective wife and husband.

Kenneth D. Arsenault, 60, of Pemberton Township, is facing 27 years after pleading guilty to killing his wife with a hammer and knife last year.

Michelle Hurley, 48, of Bayonne, was sentenced to eight years in prison for strangling her husband with a lamp cord in 2015.

In the Hurley case, the homicidal widow apologized to her dead husband's family in court on Thursday, saying that she never intended to kill him.

Hurley injured her husband, David, after an argument in their home, which they continued to share as they worked out a divorce. David died in the hospital a few weeks later.

Her lawyers said David was drunk and that she acted in self-defense.

Hurley was tried twice. The first trial ended in a deadlock on a homicide charge even though she was convicted of aggravated assault and weapons offenses. In the second trial, the Hudson County jury convicted her of reckless manslaughter.

The Jersey Journal reported last year that Hurley's brother accused her of stealing their mother's money for trips and gambling.

In the Pemberton Township case, Arsenault's wife called police for help on April 7, 2018. Police responded to the Browns Mills home and found Arsenault on top of his wife on the ground outside the house.

Lorraine Arsenault, 61, died at the hospital later that day.

Arsenault pleaded guilty this week to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. He will be sentenced in July.

In 2016, the most recent year for which such data is available, 52 of the state's 378 homicides involved domestic violence.

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