November 13th, 2013
10:02 AM ET

Marissa Alexander, Florida Woman in Warning-Shot Case, May Be Freed

She's won a new trial. And now, Marissa Alexander may learn Wednesday whether she can get out of prison while she waits for that trial.

In a Jacksonville, Florida, court, a judge is expected to decide if Alexander will be released on bond in a case that has drawn national attention.

Last month, an appellate court ordered a new trial for Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun to scare off her allegedly abusive husband. The case will be retried because the jury had incorrect directions, the court ruled.

Alexander's case gained the attention of civil rights leaders, who say nobody was hurt and the sentence for the mother of three was too harsh.

The case shined the spotlight on Florida's Stand Your Ground law after she unsuccessfully argued before her 2012 trial that she was immune to prosecution because of the law.

But now, Alexander says she's just hoping she can see her children as she waits for her complicated case to be resolved.

Alexander "has not had regular access to her 3-and-a-half year old daughter" since she was 6 months old, her lawyer said in court documents urging a judge for a pre-trial release.

But a lawyer for Alexander's estranged husband, Rico Gray, says he has concerns.

"She had bond once on this case and she went over to my client's house and she gave him a black eye, and got arrested, though she was told to stay away from my client, so I don't think he necessarily wants her to have a bond again," said Richard Kuritz, Gray's attorney.

A police report from that time shows that Alexander was arrested for a domestic violence offense connected to an altercation with Gray.

According to police reports, Alexander had no injuries, but Gray had a bloody swollen eye and told police Alexander had punched him.

Alexander's attorney says things are different now. Her client is finalizing a divorce with Gray and they will have no contact with each other.

The hearing is set for 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

HLN's "After Dark" Host Vinnie Politan and Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin had a heated discussion on the "stand your ground" case on Wednesday's "New Day."


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  1. Tom

    The history on this case is available from creditable sources. Sure, the asshole husband was abusive, but in the shooting incident she went into the garage from the kitchen to retrieve a gun from the car, came back in the kitchen and fired at him (not the ceiling – based on the police report and ballistic evidence), AND their child was present. She was convicted because 1) she could have could have gotten out of harm's way another outside exit, 2) she made a conscious decision to retrieve a handgun from the car, and 3) re-enter the kitchen with a firearm rather than taking the opportunity to exit again. There was evidence of abuse by both parties, and there was a child involved in all of this. There is no way she should have received this harsh sentence, but she nor her husband are innocent.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  2. Reasonable

    I wish I knew more about this case. What is the evidence that he was abusive and she fired the shot in self defense and not as an attack? The only evidence of abuse between the two that is mentioned in this story is her giving Gray a black eye and her getting arrested for assault. Still, mandatory minimum sentences are a bad idea.

    November 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  3. Angela

    She should have just let him beat or kill her, she may have been granted rights then...if he he did beat or kill her he would spend less time in jail then her, saving tax payers lots of money??

    November 14, 2013 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • ezb425

      You've got to be kidding me. She attempted to murder her husband who allegedly abused her (which doesn't make any sense considering he was the one with injuries), and now she gets a new trial . Reverse the genders in this situation and they'd give the man a life sentence, no appeal.

      This is how deluded American women have become. A woman attacks and attempts to murder her husband, but bringing her to trial is stripping her of her rights, according to Angela.

      Absolute nonsense, Angela, absolute nonsense.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply

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