A gun saved her from her abusive husband but it did not save her from the law. Marissa Alexander attempted to invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as her legal defense over a 2010 incident in which her husband was attacking her and she fired a warning shot to scare him off.
Duval County Judge James H. Daniel has allowed a new trial for Alexander citing incorrect instructions which were given to the jury on self-defense. But the court still doesn’t think the Stand Your Ground laws should apply in this case.
“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s SYG law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” Daniel wrote, according to a report by ABC.
According to Alexander’s testimony, the August 2010 incident that led up to the shooting started when she returned home from work that night to find her then-husband, Rico Gray, Sr., in their house. At the time Alexander has a restraining order against her husband after he had assaulted her.
Outrage from the husband ensued when he saw a text message on Alexander’s cell phone and then chased her into a bathroom. She locked the door but Gray just kick in the door and proceeded to choke her. During a struggle Alexander was able to get away and ran towards her garage so she could get in her car and drive away.
But she forgot her keys to the car in the house where her enraged husband was. And since she was not able to open the garage door due to a malfunction, she was essentially trapped in the garage with no choice but to go back in the house. That’s when Alexander remembered she kept a gun in the garage.
“I knew I had to protect myself,” she said during an interview with CNN last April. “I could not fight him. He was 100 pounds more than me. I grabbed my weapon at that point.” The weapon was a gun, legally owned by Alexander.
But when Gray saw Alexander holding the handgun when she went back into the house Gray became even more irate and threatened to kill the woman, according to Alexander’s testimony. Deciding on what she called “the lesser of two evils” Alexander fired a warning shot in the air, which hit the wall and ceiling. And this move may have saved her life, since Gray ran out of the house after she fired the gun.
And this was not the first time Gray had threatened her.
During his deposition, Gray admitted, “I told her if she ever cheated on me, I would kill her.” But that wasn’t all. He went on to add, “If my kids weren’t there, I knew I probably would have tried to take the gun from her. If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her.”
Watch the original interview with CNN here:
Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison under a Florida law that automatically mandates the 20 years for unlawfully firing a gun. Now with a new trial she will have yet another chance to let her legal defense team prove that she fired her gun because she feared for her life and was trying to scare off her attacker.
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