Trending Topics

Marissa Alexander Back in Court: Judge Postpones Second Hearing

Marissa Alexander requests second trial

AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack

Attorneys for Marissa Alexander, the 33-year-old Florida mother who fired a “warning shot” at her husband who has a history of domestic violence, made another request for a Florida judge to drop the charges against her. Circuit Court Judge James Daniel has postponed his decision, claiming he did not have enough new information to order a second hearing for the retrial.

The story of Marissa Alexander has garnered a lot of media attention and sparked a fire in activists across the country.

Back in 2012, Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in jail after she fired a gun in the direction of her husband, Rico Gray, and his two children.

Nobody was injured, but Alexander was still convicted of aggravated assault.

Now, with a new attorney, Alexander is back in court and actively seeking a second hearing.

Alexander was granted a second trial after it was determined the first judge did not properly instruct the jury dealing with her case.

During the first hearing, Alexander was denied Stand Your Ground immunity, but her new legal team claims they have new evidence that would help support Alexander’s claims of self-defense.

The Stand Your Ground law allows citizens to use deadly force if they feel threatened by another person or are facing imminent danger or harm by another person.

On Friday, her new attorney presented new evidence claiming to show that Gray abused Alexander.

The attorney also provided evidence that suggested the children were pressured by their father to lie about his history of violence and the incident that took place that night. It was not clear, however, what details the children may have lied about.

Assistant State Attorney Rich Mantei argued that the new evidence being presented was not “new enough to matter,” according to Florida Times-Union reporter Larry Hannan.

It seems as if Daniel agreed.

While the judge has not denied Alexander the second hearing, he has postponed his decision and claimed he needed more time to consider the new evidence as well as what legal precedent would be set if the second hearing is granted.

Alexander and her legal team are expected to appear back in court sometime in June.

For now, Alexander is out on bond.

Controversy surrounding Alexander’s story picked up after the infamous 2013 George Zimmerman trial ended in the volunteer neighborhood watchman being acquitted of all charges in the February 2012 death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman approached Martin as the teen was walking through the neighborhood that night, returning home from a nearby convenience store. Zimmerman claimed the teen attacked him.

Shortly afterwards, Michael Dunn was not found guilty of murdering Jordan Davis back in November 2012 after he fired several times into the vehicle Davis was sitting in.

Dunn was found guilty of attempted murder of the other teens who were in the vehicle with Davis, but the first-degree murder charge for killing Davis resulted in a hung jury. After reportedly complaining about loud music, Dunn claimed Davis threatened him.

Supporters of Alexander argue that if these cases qualified for protection under the Stand Your Ground laws, Alexander should be granted immunity as well.

Some argue that Alexander has more of a right to fire than Zimmerman and Dunn because giving women the power to defend themselves against abusive partners and rape was specifically mentioned as a motive behind the Stand Your Ground laws.

Marissa Alexander requests second Stand Your Ground trialAccording to Florida lawmakers, “Calls to repeal ‘Stand Your Ground’ are anti-woman. Imposing a duty-to-flee places the safety of the rapist above a woman’s own life.”

Prosecutors argued that Alexander did not fear for her life because she left the home to grab the gun from the garage and returned to the home before firing.

Civil rights activists, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, pointed out that there were no solid reasons for Zimmerman or Dunn to fear for their lives either.

Zimmerman outweighed his 17-year-old victim twice over and made the decision to approach him before the altercation happened.

Davis was still sitting in the backseat of an SUV when Dunn fired several times at the vehicle.

While the judge insists he has to consider the legal precedent of granting Alexander another trial, no Florida judge has shown concern over the legal precedent that the Zimmerman and Dunn trials have set.


Back to top