Marissa Alexander, a Florida mother of three was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting at her husband. Alexander’s family says she was shooting a warning shot and hoped to argue a defense based on Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground‘ law.
The State Prosecutor who oversaw the Alexander case says that Marissa was not a victim and that she was angry when she fired a shot at Rico Gray. Alexander was prosecuted by the same state attorney’s office overseeing the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Both Zimmerman and Alexander’s cases have stirred controversy surrounding Florida’s Stand Your Ground gun law. Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law allows citizens wide discretion in using deadly force to defend themselves. Alexander invoked the Stand Your Ground law in her defense. She was charged with aggravated assault in August 2010. Neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman who has been charged with second-degree murder charge is also expected to invoke the Stand Your Ground law in his defense.
Alexander’s family and a growing her growing group of supporters have denounced her prosecution by Corey’s office. Alexander’s husband, Rico Gray has reportedly admitted in court documents to beating, choking and punching women, including Alexander.
There are articles circulating the web that claim
1. Alexander was cornered in the couple’s Jacksonville home.
2. She ran into the garage to escape and was trapped behind a jammed door, she said in court documents.
3. Alexander said she grabbed the gun she kept in the garage, returned to the house and, when Gray threatened to kill her, fired a single shot to ward him off.
The day of the shooting Gray fled the home with his two sons and called the police. Alexander was arrested and eventually convicted of three counts of aggravated assault. A judge rejected Alexander’s appeal for a new trial.
State Attorney Angela Corey said her office considered all the details of the case before moving forward with Alexander’s prosecution. She said the facts don’t support Alexander’s self-defense claim.
While Alexander’s family and her attorney have claimed Alexander fired a warning shot into the ceiling, Corey said a bullet hole in the wall shows the gun was aimed much lower. The shot Alexander fired appears to have struck to the right of an archway between the kitchen and living room, where Gray and his two young sons were.
Due to Florida’s “10-20-Life” statutes, Alexander was sentenced to the mandatory term of 20 years. Some of Alexander’s supporter have speculated that race was a factor in the case. There is an online pettition for Governor Rick Scott to pardon Marissa Alexander. You can view the petition here.