Florida Mother, Marissa Alexander Wins New Trial—Freed From 20 Year Sentence

Florida Mother, Marissa Alexander Wins New Trial—Freed From 20 Year Sentence

Marissa Alexander—the Florida woman that was sentenced to a 20 year prison stint for firing a warning shot to scare her abusive husband off—has been released from jail.

The 34-year-old claimed self-defense and Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law in her 2010 trial but the law was rejected since she left the house to retrieve the gun from her car before firing a warning shot near her husband, Rico Gray’s head. At the time of the incident, Alexander had a restraining order against Rico and she held a concealed weapons permit.

The mother-of-three—who had never been arrested before—was facing 60 years but was sentenced to 20 because of the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines since she fired a gun during the assault. The jury at her first trial found her guilty after a 12 minute deliberation.

However after Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman was acquitted of his charges, her trial was highlighted and urged to be reopened—which after many spoke out in support of her, it was. In her new trial, the initial verdict was thrown out after a judge ruled the trial court incorrectly required Alexander to prove she was abused by her husband.

Instead, she was sentenced to the 1,095 days she already served in jail after pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as part of a plea agreement for the 2010 shooting.

She also must be on house arrest for two years. Marissa must wear a GPS ankle monitor and will only be allowed to go to work, look for work, attend her children’s school functions, doctor and dental appointments, and go to church. Anything else she choose to do must be approved by a judge.

Alexander expressed her gratitude to a room full of reporters following the new verdict.

“Today, after the sentence given by Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move on with our lives. Although the journey has been long and there’s been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here, where I am today, without the thoughts, many thoughts and many prayers of so many people who voiced their support and encouragement. Words can never express my gratitude for those who stood beside me, including my children and family. I am also grateful that Judge Daniel approached this case with such care and diligence.”

Marissa Alexander also talked her future plans now that she’s free.

“I look forward to the full-time challenge of getting my two teenagers through high school and into college, as well we preparing my 4-year-old daughter for nursery school. My goal is to continue my education beyond my master’s degree and to continue my professional career.”



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