September 27th, 2013
02:29 PM ET

Mother of 3 Serving 20 Years in Prison Gets New Trial

Marissa Alexander is getting a second chance at freedom.

The mother of three was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a single bullet into the wall. She claims she did it to scare off her husband who she says was abusive.

Her husband, Rico Gray, had previously been arrested for domestic abuse. Following an argument in August 2010, Alexander says she believed she was doing what was allowed by Florida law, standing her ground and protecting herself.

However, when Alexander tried to use the Stand Your Ground Law, she was turned down by a judge. The issue? Alexander could have left through the front door during the altercation. Instead she went to the garage to get her car, but says she forgot her keys and became trapped.

Even though she injured no one, she was convicted by a jury after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

Now, an appeals judge has ruled the jury was given incorrect instructions regarding Alexander's self-defense claim. She will get a new trial, but still won't be allowed to claim Stand-Your-Ground.

But, for Marissa Alexander, it's a new chance for freedom.

Her attorney, Faith Gay, spoke to Anchor Chris Cuomo:

"She [Alexander] just received the news yesterday and she's ecstatic of course. She's very grateful that the system actually worked for her. And she's extremely grateful to her friends and family for standing by her. She's also hopeful in the next few weeks she'll be able to see her children again."

On the two major errors made in the first trial, she says:

"Obviously it's not the American way to make you prove your own defense. In this country and in Florida, if the government brings a charge, they have to prove it, and the jury instructions just moved around in a way that made her prove that her estranged, violent ex-husband was actually attacking her. She doesn't have to prove anything and now, in a second trial, that will be the case."



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