Marissa Alexander, Florida woman in 'warning shot' case, released from jail

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Marissa Alexander, Florida woman in 'warning shot' case, released from jail
Marissa Alexander is comforted by her attorneys, Bruce Zimet, left, and Faith Gay, right, after plea deal at a hearing Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Alexander, accused of firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons in what she said was self-defense took a plea deal on Monday, in a case that first got attention because her attorneys used Florida’s “stand your ground” law in its defense, arguing that she feared for her life before discharging the weapon. She will receive credit for the 1,030 days she has already serve. She must serve 65 more days and will return to jail Monday. Had the 34-year-old Alexander, of Jacksonville, been convicted of all counts at her second trial in the case, set to begin Dec. 1, she would have had to serve 60 years because of Florida’s minimum-mandatory sentencing rules when a firearm is involved. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky, Pool)
Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman facing a retrial for charges of aggravated assault after she said she fired a warning shot at her abusive husband, has agreed to a plea deal.
Marissa Alexander enters the courtroom for a hearing on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander exits the courtroom after a hearing on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
This undated family photo provided by Lincoln B. Alexander shows, Marissa Alexander in her car in Tampa, Fla. Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Lincoln B. Alexander)
This undated family photo provided by Lincoln B. Alexander shows, Marissa Alexander purchasing cosmetics in Tampa, Fla. Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Lincoln B. Alexander)
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Alexander
Judge James Daniel asks Marissa Alexander if she has read the agreement he is holding during a hearing Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Alexander, accused of firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons in what she said was self-defense took a plea deal on Monday, in a case that first got attention because her attorneys used Florida’s “stand your ground” law in its defense, arguing that she feared for her life before discharging the weapon. She will receive credit for the 1,030 days she has already serve. She must serve 65 more days and will return to jail Monday. Had the 34-year-old Alexander, of Jacksonville, been convicted of all counts at her second trial in the case, set to begin Dec. 1, she would have had to serve 60 years because of Florida’s minimum-mandatory sentencing rules when a firearm is involved. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky, Pool)
Lawyer Bruce Zimet, left, pats Marissa Alexander, right, after plea deal at a hearing Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Alexander, accused of firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons in what she said was self-defense took a plea deal on Monday, in a case that first got attention because her attorneys used Florida’s “stand your ground” law in its defense, arguing that she feared for her life before discharging the weapon. She will receive credit for the 1,030 days she has already serve. She must serve 65 more days and will return to jail Monday. Had the 34-year-old Alexander, of Jacksonville, been convicted of all counts at her second trial in the case, set to begin Dec. 1, she would have had to serve 60 years because of Florida’s minimum-mandatory sentencing rules when a firearm is involved. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky, Pool)
FILE - In a Tuesday, June 10, 2014 file photo, Marissa Alexander is flanked by defense co-counsel Bruce Zimet, left, and Faith Gay, right, stand with as they speak to the media, in Jacksonville, Fla. Alexander, who claimed self-defense after prosecutors say she fired a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons, is expected to be released from prison Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, after accepting a plea agreement for time served. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander walks with family, friends and members of her defense team Bruce Zimet, center, and Buddy Schultz, right, after the hearing, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander walks with family, friends and members of her defense team after the hearing, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Lawyers hold a sidebar discussion with Judge Daniel, right, during a hearing for Marissa Alexander on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Defense co-counsel Bruce Zimet, left, and Faith Gay, right, stand with Marissa Alexander as they speak to the media, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Defense co-counsel Bruce Zimet, left, and Faith Gay, right, flank Marissa Alexander as they speak to the media, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Circuit Judge James Daniel set a hearing for August 1 on whether Alexander should be granted a second stand your ground self-defense hearing. Daniel also set a new tentative date of Dec. 1 for Alexander’s second trial on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Alexander, 33, was convicted in May 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the state’s minimum mandatory requirements. Alexander says she acted in self-defense after her estranged husband beat her. The warning shots were fired near her husband and his two children. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander, center, who is awaiting trial in a controversial "stand your ground" case, walks out of the Duval County Courthouse with her lawyers Bruce Zimet, left, and Faith Gay after a hearing on Friday Jan. 10, 2013 in Jacksonville, Fla., after Circuit Judge James Daniel had decided that she could remain free on bond, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said Alexander violated terms of the home detention, which prohibited her from leaving her house except to go to court appearances, and for medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of the program. The judge, in denying the state's request, said Alexander didn't knowingly violate the order. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander, who is awaiting trial in a controversial "stand your ground" case, smiles towards supporters in the courtroom, during a sidebar conference after Judge Daniel had decided that shecould remain free on bond, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said Alexander violated terms of the home detention, which prohibited her from leaving her house except to go to court appearances, and for medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of the program. The judge, in denying the state's request, said Alexander didn't knowingly violate the order. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Marissa Alexander walks out of court after a hearing Friday Jan. 10, 2013 in Jacksonille, Fla., where Judge Daniel decided that she could remain free on bond, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 in Jacksonville, Fla. Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said Alexander violated terms of the home detention, which prohibited her from leaving her house except to go to court appearances, and for medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of the program. The judge, in denying the state's request, said Alexander didn't knowingly violate the order. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack, Pool)
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Alexander
A bullet hole that prosecutors say Marissa Alexander fired into a kitchen wall in the direction of Rico Gray, whom she claimed had physically abused her. Alexander claims it was a warning shot. Photo courtesy of Florida State Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors say Marissa Alexander fired a single shot into her kitchen wall in the direction of Rico Gray, whom she claimed had physically abused her. Pictured is where the bullet exited through a living room wall, where Gray and his two sons were at the time of the shooting. Alexander claims it was a warning shot. Photo courtesy of Florida State Attorney's Office.
A mugshot of Marissa Alexander taken shortly after a fight in August 2010 with her abusive husband, Rico Gray, in which Alexander fired what her family has called a "warning shot." Prosecutors say the shot was fired in the direction of Gray and his two young sons. Alexander was convicted with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A mugshot of Marissa Alexander from an incident in December 2010 in which she got into a physical altercation with her husband, Rico Gray. Alexander was charged with battery. The incident happened about four months after Alexander fired a shot at Gray, who has a history of abusing her, to ward him off during a fight.
A photograph of Rico Gray taken in December 2010 shortly after an altercation with Marissa Alexander, his wife, who was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon four months earlier for firing a shot at him in their home.
A photograph of Rico Gray taken in December 2010 shortly after an altercation with Marissa Alexander, his wife, who was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon four months earlier for firing a shot at him in their home.
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida woman who says she fired a warning shot at her abusive husband was released from a Jacksonville jail on Tuesday under a plea deal that capped her sentence to the three years she had already served.

Marissa Alexander, 34, was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 but her conviction was later overturned. She faced another trial on charges that could have put her behind bars for 60 years before she agreed to a plea deal in November.

Her case helped to inspire a new state law permitting warning shots in some circumstances.

Leaving the courthouse, Alexander cried as she thanked her supporters, sharing plans to continue her education in order to work as a paralegal.

"My hope is for the people who were involved in this case to be able to move on with their lives," she said, reading from a prepared statement.

She declined to answer further questions.

At her sentencing hearing, Alexander's attorney noted that she had agreed to the deal to avoid putting all involved, including her three children, through a high-profile trial.

Alexander pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for firing a shot in the direction of her husband, Rico Gray, during a 2010 argument while two of his children were also in the house.

She also agreed to serve two years of house arrest, wearing an ankle monitor. She will be allowed to work, attend classes and take her children to school and medical appointments.

Circuit Court Judge James Daniel denied a request by prosecutors to add two years of probation to her sentence at the conclusion of the house arrest.

Prosecutors called as a witness 15-year-old Pernell Gray, who said his life changed the day his stepmother fired the gun in his presence.

"I was not hurt physically, but I was hurt emotionally and mentally," he said.

Outside the Duval County courthouse, Alexander's supporters from around the nation unfurled pieces of a red quilt memorializing victims of rape and abuse.

"Self-defense is not a crime. Marissa should not be doing time," a group of about 50 people holding hands chanted upon her release, calling for her to be pardoned.

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, a civil rights organizer, had come from Chattanooga, Tennessee to support Alexander.

"Marissa's story resonates with people because it was a victimless crime," she said. "There is no justice in it."

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