No Stand Your Ground: Jacksonville Woman Gets 20 Years for Firing Warning Shot
A Jacksonville woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for firing a warning shot at an abusive husband, who she said had repeatedly threatened her.
31-year-old Marissa Alexander was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing into a wall not far from her husband and two young children at a home in Jacksonville in 2010.
Alexander argued unsuccessfully that she had no intention of hurting anyone when she fired the warning shot and was standing her ground against an abusive husband who had punched and choked her on several prior occasions.
But a jury disagreed and it took them twelves minutes to convict the mother of three.
Earlier, Alexander had rejected a plea deal offered by the State Attorney’s Office which would have given her three years in prison.
A motion filed last week seeking dismal of the case, was also rejected by the judge, the Huffington Post reported.
Alexander’s case and its outcomes heightens the controversy surrounding the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense. Zimmerman said he was attacked by the teen and feared for his life.
Zimmerman was not initially charged by Sanford police, who believed he was standing his ground when he shot and killed Martin. But the neighborhood watch volunteer was subsequently arrested and charged with second degree murder by Angela Corey, the state attorney who oversaw the case against Alexander.
Corey said that justice was done in Alexander’s case, the Huffington Post reported. She believes that Alexander was angry and reckless, not fearful when she discharged the bullet.
“The fact that nobody got hurt has to be balanced with the fact that someone could have gotten hurt,” Corey said. “The kids being right next to him changed everything.”
Corey will argue too, that Zimmerman was not standing his ground when he shot and killed Martin, the unarmed teen. Then, it will be up to a jury to decide on the case, based on a controversial law which is currently under review.