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

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

10 PHOTOS
Marissa Alexander
See Gallery
Marissa Alexander, Florida woman in 'warning shot' case, released from jail
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.
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Alexander
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.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts
A Holocaust Survivor Found These Old Photographs - And Solved A Decades-Old Mystery A Holocaust Survivor Found These Old Photographs - And Solved A Decades-Old Mystery
Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big