Marissa Alexander, 33, the Jacksonville mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband, now faces up to 60 years in prison for the same crime, reports Jacksonville.com.
Florida state prosecutor Angela Corey, the same prosecutor who has been unable to get convictions for child killers George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, is retrying Alexander after a judge decided that the first trial put the burden of proof on Alexander to prove that she was abused.
Alexander’s estranged husband, Rico Gray, Sr., admitted that he had threatened to kill her and would have hurt her if his children had not have been present during their altercation.
“If my kids weren’t there, I knew I probably would have tried to take the gun from her,” Gray said. “If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her.” When Alexander’s defense attorney asked him what he meant by “put my hand on her,” Gray replied, “probably hit her. I got five baby mammas and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one.”
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Alexander, 33, was previously convicted in 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Circuit Judge James Daniel under the state’s 10-20-life law. Daniel actually imposed three separate 20-year sentences on Alexander but ordered that they be served concurrently, which meant Alexander would get out in 20 years.
The conviction was thrown out after the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee ruled that Daniel made a mistake in shifting the burden to Alexander to prove she was acting in self-defense. During jury instructions, Daniel said she must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was battered by her husband.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Alexander was granted a pretrial release with special conditions, according to the Duval County Clerk of Court.
The conditions of Alexander’s release are below:
• Remain under the supervision of the pretrial services program at all times
• Subject to electronic monitoring through the CTC at all times
• Remain on home detention until completion of her case and will be allowed to leave her residence except for court appearances, medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of PSP or the CTC
• Report all required court appearances and all required appointments with he PSP or its designated service provider
• Alexander cannot change her residence without prior notice and approval by the PSP or its designated service provider
• Cannot have contact with, nor communicate by any means with Rico Gray, Sr., Pernell Gray and Rico Gray, Jr.
• Alexander shall abide by all court orders in the divorce proceedings involving Rico Gray, Sr., including all orders that pertain to child custody, exchange of child custody for visitation shall be facilitated by a third party
• Alexander shall not possess any firearms, nor shall there be any firearms in her residence at any time during her pretrial release
• Shall not consume any alcoholic beverage or drug not prescribed by a physician
• Must abide by all rules and regulations for the PSP and the CTC including random drug testing
• Alexander shall be subject to warrantless searches of her residence by CTC officers or any JSO officer conducting such a search at the direction of CTC personnel, to ensure compliance with her pretrial release conditions
Alexander’s bond was set at a total of $200,009 for three separate charges.
“It’s unimaginable that a woman acting in self-defense, who injured no one, can be given what amounts to a life sentence,” said Free Marissa Now spokeswoman Helen Gilbert. “This must send chills down the spine of every woman and everyone who cares about women and every woman in an abusive relationship.”
“Seeking 60 years is an incredibly abusive and outrageous action by Corey,” Gilbert said.