Marissa Alexander, Florida Black Woman in Stand-Your-Ground Case, May Be Freed


(CNN) — 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.

In the old case, Alexander claimed self-defense, saying she was attempting to flee her husband on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall.

She said her husband had read cell phone text messages that she had written to her ex-husband, got angry and tried to strangle her.

State Attorney Angela Corey had said the case deserved to be prosecuted because Alexander fired in the direction of a room where children were standing.

Corey had said she offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take the case to a jury trial, where a conviction would carry a mandatory sentence under a Florida law known as “10-20-life.”

The law mandates increased penalties for some felonies, including aggravated assault, in which a gun is carried or used.

CNN’s Gary Tuchman and Alina Machado contributed to this report.


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