The 25 Worst Things to Happen in Florida in 2012

Stand Your Ground Law Can't Save Marissa Alexander

City: Jacksonville, FL
Date: May 2012

Florida's Stand Your Ground Law reared its controversial head on multiple occassions in 2012, but it couldn't save Jacksonville mother Marissa Alexander. Alexander, 31, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she says was a "warning shot" into the wall of her home following a physical altercation with her husband, Rico Gray.

In a sworn November 2010 deposition, Gray said that he and Alexander got into a physical fight in August 2010 after he found text messages sent to her first husband on her phone. Gray attempted to block Alexander into the bathroom of their home, but she escaped and fled to the garage. Gray says she returned with gun and ordered him to leave, but he refused. In his deposition, he said Alexander fired once into air, forcing him and the children present to flee. However, when he called 911 on the day of the incident, he claimed that she pointed the gun at him and the children.

In August 2011, a judge rejected a motion by Alexander's attorney's to invoke Stand Your Ground, saying that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Alexander reasonably used deadly force to prevent death or harm to herself. Even though no one was injured, Alexander was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and because a firearm was discharged, the case fell under the "10-20-life" law, which mandates a 20 year sentence for the use of a gun during certain crimes.

Alexander was offered a three-year-deal if she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, which she rejected because she did not feel she'd done anything wrong. During her trial, the jury reached a verdict of guilty in less than 15 minutes.

[via CBS News]

Tags: florida, 2012
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