We perish because we know not… #TLENews
A Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she defended was a single warning shot toward her abusive husband in 2010 has been freed as part of a plea deal.
Marissa Alexander, 34, was released Tuesday after striking a deal that capped her sentence to three years’ time already served for the shooting that she claimed was in self-defense.
While leaving a Jacksonville courthouse, the mother of three cried while thanking her supporters and sharing her plans to continue her education in pursuit of becoming a paralegal someday.
“My hope is for the people who were involved in this case to be able to move on with their lives,” she said while reading from a prepared statement.
As part of November’s deal she additionally agreed to two years of house arrest while wearing an ankle monitor. She will be allowed to work, attend classes and take her children to school and medical appointments.
Alexander’s plea to three counts of aggravated assault followed her firing a single shot in the direction of her estranged husband, Rico Gray, during an argument in the couple’s home that was witnessed by two of his children in 2010.
One of those two children, 15-year-old Pernell Gray, told the court how his life dramatically changed because of his stepmother’s actions.
“I was not hurt physically, but I was hurt emotionally and mentally,” he said.
The mother had argued that her use of a firearm was defended under the state’s Stand Your Ground clause which gives the benefit of the doubt to a shooter who feels threatened.
She was ultimately unable to prove to a judge that her use of a firearm was in self-defense, however, despite claiming that Gray threatened to kill her.
Alexander faced another 60 years behind bars for another upcoming trial before striking that plea deal with prosecutors last fall.
Alexander’s case had long sparked outrage by members of the public who criticized the 20-year sentencing for a gunshot that merely wounded a wall.
“Self-defense is not a crime. Marissa should not be doing time,” a group of about 50 people holding hands chanted upon her release, calling for her to be pardoned.
“Marissa’s story resonates with people because it was a victimless crime,” Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, a civil rights organizer from Tennessee said outside. “There is no justice in it.”
Alexander’s trial was further compared to the trial of George Zimmerman who was famously acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin in 2013.
Like that trial, Alexander was prosecuted by Angela Corey.
NY Daily News