Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Victim Marissa Alexander Is Free At Last (VIDEO)

Marissa Alexander, a woman famous for being sentenced to 20 years for standing her ground against her allegedly abusive husband, Rico Gray, has been freed to spend the remaining two years of her sentence under house arrest wearing a GPS ankle monitor.

Alexander purportedly was assaulted by Gray just 9 days after giving birth to their child. She left the home, went into the garage to retrieve a gun, returned and shot at or near Mr. Gray. She claimed she was afraid for her life and invoked the “stand your ground” law in Florida, much like George Zimmerman did a few years later. While Zimmerman was found not guilty, Marissa was found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to 20 years under the minimum sentencing guidelines at the time.

As the courtroom erupted in cheers on Tueday, Judge James Daniels rejected the prosecutor’s request that Marissa serve an additional two years of her sentence and announced she was to be freed immediately after he sentenced her to 3 years, with time served, and on the conditions of her probation of two years of house arrest on an ankle monitor and no contact with her ex-husband or her step-children from previous relationships. She must pay for her own monitoring device and can only leave to attend to doctor/dentist appointments and to visit her children’s school. She must find a job or continue with her schooling. Simple enough but expensive. With the help of her supporters, the charges should be covered and she has indicated that she wants to see her children into college and her daughter into preschool.

Following her release, she read the following to the reporters and crowd that had gathered outside the courtroom:

“Today, after the sentence given by Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move on with our lives. Although the journey has been long and there’s been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here, where I am today, without the thoughts, many thoughts and many prayers of so many people who voiced their support and encouragement. Words can never express my gratitude for those who stood beside me, including my children and family. I am also grateful that Judge Daniel approached this case with such care and diligence.”

Some in the courtroom were not celebrating. The prosecution tried initially for an additional two years, and then tried for another two years additional probation claiming that while the media and others had painted Marissa as a victim of the “stand your ground” defense, she had attempted to kill her ex-husband and placed his children in danger as she took a shot at him. Marissa has always claimed that she had been attacked and that she went and got the gun to protect herself. She testified that she had discharged the gun as a warning and had shot above his head to save herself as his children were in another room. This was disputed by the two children who testified that they were standing next to their father when she shot at him. They also claimed that the bullet went into the wall, not the ceiling as repeatedly claimed by Marissa and her supporters.

In November, Marissa agreed to a plea bargain when the prosecution declared that they intended to retry her after she had been released when her first conviction was overturned on appeal. Today, after hours of testimony was received by the judge to determine her sentence, Judge Daniel gave his ruling.

Marissa is free, free at last. Almost.

Here is the video:

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Featured Image courtesy of Jacksonville.com