Gun Rights

20 Years for Standing Her Ground Against a Violent Husband


Families Against Mandatory Minimums highlights a case that suggests Florida's "stand your ground" law has been applied unevenly, failing to protect people in situations very much like those envisioned by its supporters. Marissa Alexander faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years because she fired a gun into the ceiling of her Jacksonville home in 2010 to ward off an attack by an abusive husband against whom she had a protective order. A judge rejected her pretrial motion to dismiss the charges against her under the self-defense statute, saying she could have escaped the house instead of firing the warning shot. Last month a six-person jury convicted her on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon (one for her husband, Rico Gray, and one for each of his two sons, who were also present), thereby triggering the 20-year mandatory minimum.

Unlike George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin, Alexander's case actually involves the right to stand your ground—or, more precisely, the "castle doctrine," which says people have no duty to retreat when attacked in their homes. In 2005, when the Florida legislature eliminated the duty to retreat in public places, it also broadened the castle doctrine, creating a presumption that a person has "a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm" if he "knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred." It makes an exception to this presumption if "the person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling," but only when "there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person," as there was in this case. Alexander's situation seems to be exactly the sort that was supposed to be covered by these provisions, which makes the dismissal of her pretrial motion, based on the premise that she could and should have retreated, all the more puzzling.

Loop 21, citing Alexander's lawyer, reports that the she "endured strangulation, beatings, and hospitalization, including an incident causing the premature birth of her youngest child….The abuse happened over the span of a few years, before Alexander decided to use deadly force in defense against her attacker." It adds:

Duval County court records show Gray's history of domestic battery dates back to 1994. A more recent battery incident on Gray's record resulted in Alexander's hospitalization. Gray has been arrested and received probation for the abuse.

In a deposition for the case against Alexander, Gray cops to having previously struck his wife and other women he's been romantically involved with.

"And the third incident [with Alexander] we was staying together and I pushed her back and she fell in the bathtub and hit her head and I—you know, by the time I ran downstairs and got in my car to leave, you know, that's the time I went to jail, the police picked me up down the street," Gray said in his deposition.

Like Zimmerman, Alexander held a carry permit. Unlike him, she did not injure or kill anyone, and the aggression against her is well documented. Yet she was arrested immediately, and she potentially faces a longer prison sentence. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, which is punishable by a sentence up to life. But given the known facts of the case, he is more likely to be convicted of manslaughter (assuming he is convicted), which has a maximum penalty of 15 years. Notably, the same prosecutor who overcharged Zimmerman, Angela Corey, is the one who threw the book at Alexander.

There are two major issues here: whether Alexander's use of force was justified under Florida's law and whether, assuming it wasn't, a 20-year prison sentence is just punishment given the circumstances. The answer to the first question seems to be yes, and the answer to the second one is certainly no.

While the disparate treatment of Alexander (who is black) and Zimmerman (who is Hispanic) might suggest racial bias, FAMM notes another Florida case involving a white man, Orville Lee Wollard, who received a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence for firing a warning shot in his own home "to chase off a young man who had been abusing his teenage daughter." Wollard rejected a plea deal that involved five years of probation because he believed his actions were lawful. A jury disagreed, apparently because he was not allowed to testify about the assailant's history of violence against his daughter. The judge who imposed the sentence called it "clearly excessive" but said, "I am duty-bound to apply the law as it has been enacted by the legislature." 

In addition to FAMM, Al Sharpton and the Jacksonville chapter of the NAACP are championing Alexander's case. An interview with her is scheduled to air on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° tonight. 

I discuss the application of Florida's law to Zimmerman in my column today.

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  1. Wouldn’t stand your ground be irrelevant to that case since she was in her own house?

    1. More specifically, I’m thinking of castle doctrine and stand your found as separate issues.

    2. Yes. SYG has nothing to do with the Castle Doctrine. The Castle Doctrine exists for cases of domestic abuse without SYG laws.

      1. Yes and no. Classically, the castle doctrine says you can stand your ground in your own home, that is, there is no duty to retreat in your home.

        Courts and prosecutors (like the fuckheads in this case) were eroding even that. So laws limiting or eliminating the duty to retreat began to be passed. Some apply only in the home (and are castle doctrine laws, I guess), and some apply everywhere.

      2. This is completely ridiculous. Even the most strict interpretation of Castle Doctrine laws only require you to “retreat to the wall (to the ‘keep’)” inside your own home and you have no duty whatsoever (even in NJ) to leave the safety of your own home to escape a violent home-invader. She seems to have done everything right except killed the man… Go figure, spare the mans life and harm no one and you get 20 years… Gotta love the laws here. But, if you are a convicted home invader who chases down a petty thief, stab him in the chest with a knife and kill him on camera, than steal his stolen property to pawn it off and than lie to the police about the whole thing, you get off scott free…

        1. My first thoughts were that if she had shot him, instead of the ceiling, the charges might have been dismissed. I wonder if the fact that she used the gun as a threat rather than directly as deadly force had anything to do with the decision.

          1. I’m thinking the same thing. Her mistake was in firing a “warning shot”. There really should be no such thing. If you’re pulling the trigger you’re pulling it to hit whatever is threatening you. Firing a shot out into space is doing nothing but endangering someone.

            1. Correct – “Warning shots” are a no no in self defense. Just put a couple through his chest and yell “self-defense”.

              (And if nobody is looking, put your biggest kitchen knife in his hand if he isn’t already armed.)

              1. No, no, no, Drake.

                Learn from the New Professionals. Yell “stop resisting” before every shot.

        2. I don’t think so since the judge said she was “reasonably able to escape.” I think she would be facing life if she killed him.

          1. I think the judge used the fact that she shot into the ceiling as evidence she couldn’t escape. If she had merely popped him, she could credibly claim that she couldn’t escape.

    3. This case is an example of why governors can grant amnesty.

  2. she coulda shot him in the leg & gotten the same assult charge…plus schdenfreude

    1. It’s entirely possible that a woman who had suffered life-threatening abuse could have shot him dead, and been acquitted.

      And shouldn’t one have the right to shoot a hole in her own ceiling, though, one way or another?

      1. Lesson #1 – If you’re going to shoot, shoot to kill.

        1. At worst she’d be in jail for 20 years for killing a bastard who apparently deserved it, rather than for vandalizing her own house.

      2. its pretty reckless use of a firearm, but that’s no where near assault.

        1. Yeah, the assault seems like a bit much (charging her at all seems like it is perhaps too much). Negligent discharge or something like that would make a lot more sense. Doesn’t assault require intent and not just negligence (one could argue that she had intent to harm the man, but her kids?).

          1. Assault is threatening someone in a manner that a reasonable person would take as a credible threat. She had a gun. Aggravated assault occurs when the gun is discharged, that’s why the 20 year mandatory minimum kicks in.

            And yes, I think if she had shot the guy she would never have gone to trial. Perversely, that fact that she only fired a warning shot would seem to support the argument that she herself did think she was in as much danger as is required to justify the use of deadly force.

            Guns used for self-defense are not to be use as threats. If you buy a gun for self-defense, you had better be prepared to use it. When the gun comes out, the circumstances have to warrant killing someone in self-defense because when the gun comes out you had better be shooting to kill.

            1. I was thinking mostly of the charges of assault against her kids. She may have been negligent and endangered them, but she certainly had no intent to threaten or harm them.

              1. It boilds down to asshole prosecutors, they’re the wild card.

            2. So, doesn’t that justify every police shooting ever? Well I pulled my gun, so I had to use it.

              1. I think you have that the wrong way ’round. Don’t pull your gun unless you have to use it.

  3. If she could have somehow managed to have him droned, she could have claimed that even to acknowledge the existence of the drone program was a threat to national security, and gotten some obsequious federal judge to throw the whole thing out.

    1. No, that’s only if she got elected president first.

  4. “At trial, Orville was not allowed bring up the many problems the Wollard family had experienced with the boyfriend; he was only permitted to say the boy was ‘no longer welcome’ at his home.”

    I wonder if Florida is actually as committed to Stand Your Ground as we have been led to suppose.

    1. Clearly not. A case as clear-cut as this, and the woman’s facing years of imprisonment? What the fucking shit is wrong with these fucking people?

      1. They, the government, are our sworn protectors!

        We can’t go off and protect ourselves!

        That’s… well… criminal!

      2. From Corey’s Wikipedia entry:

        the Florida Department of Corrections honored her as a Role Model for Women in the Area of Criminal Justice award

        I’m guessing that it’s not because she wasn’t making more work for them.

      3. My thoughts exactly.

      4. I’d ask what the fuck is wrong with the jurors as well.

        But I’ll give them the benefits of the doubt and assume that they believe they were following the judges orders like good little boys and girls, and “judging the facts, not the law”

    2. She was in possession over the legal limit of melanin.

      1. This was the white guy. So we’ll have to think of an alternate explanation.

        1. George Zimmerman: 510 footcandles.
          Marissa Alexander: 120 footcandles.
          Do you understand it now?

          1. Orville Lee Wollard, the guy EvH was talking about in the comment you replied to, was white. Race might have played a role in Alexander’s case, but it most likely didn’t in Wollard’s. Thus, the need for an alternate explanation.

            1. Hoplophobia.

            2. OK I get it.

            3. The explanation is easy: points on the scoreboard. A conviction is a conviction is a conviction. If the DA knows they can get a conviction based on the letter of the law, the person goes to jail whether any decent human being thinks they should or not.

              Furthermore, trying to stifle the DA’s offense by rejecting plea deals (their biggest point scoring weapon) always results in a big pushback.

  5. Notably, the same prosecutor who overcharged Zimmerman, Angela Corey, is the one who threw the book at Alexander.

    Lots of convictions lead to highr office.

    Look for this cunt running for governor in an election near you!

  6. How the fuck can she be convicted for anything for this?!?

    1. You see, she was obligated to tuck her tail between her legs and flee her own home from her abusive sack-of-shit excuse for a husband because, you know, a cocksucker in a black robe said so.

      1. I think the state approved course of action here is to call the cops, then huddle in a fetal protective position in the corner and pray the cops get there before your piece of shit ex kills you.

        1. I’d bet that if she just shot him dead, she wouldn’t have been charged. I think that the lesson is that if you are going to use a gun to defend yourself, then shoot to kill.

    2. It could be a noise violation ticket if it was after 10 pm. Otherwise…

    3. She is being convicted for NOT killing him. Instead, she vandalized her own home and put everyone in the neighborhood in danger because her sack of shit ex was able to escape her home. Maybe I’m wrong and Florida is just full of idiots..

      1. Duval County has a pretty high density, even for FL.

      2. Florida is just full of idiots. You know what they say, shit flows downhill.

    4. Because our good friends, the law n’ order conservatives, wanted make sure that those dirty junkies didn’t get off scott-free.


  7. A judge rejected her pretrial motion to dismiss the charges against her under the self-defense statute, saying she could have escaped the house instead of firing the warning shot.


    Who the fuck does this guy think he is?

    1. Do not question mah authoritah, son.

    2. I second that and add – Isn’t that the point of “Stand Your Ground”? I wish I had the site, but a group of lawyers were talking about this issue and said that the whole point of SYG was to prevent judges and prosecutors from expecting unrealistic escape actions by victims. That and she didn’t even shot him, so what is with this charge? At most she should have the unlawful discharge of a firearm in city limits but not anything else.

  8. So the clear lesson here is if you fire a gun, fire into the center of mass, and fire twice so there’s only one side of the story in court.

    1. Or live someplace with less fucktarded public officials.

      1. I see stupid people. They’re everywhere. They don’t even know that they’re stupid.

      2. Where on earth would that be?

        1. Antarctica. [And y’all thought NH was too cold.]

    2. That seems to be the lesson the courts are trying to pound into our heads, over and over, and over again!

    3. At both of my concealed carry classes, the “off-the-record” recommendation of the instructors was:

      (a) don’t pull your gun unless you are justified in using it.

      (b) don’t shoot warning shots.

      (c) shoot to kill, and don’t stop until they are dead.

      1. (c modified) double tap

        1. Rule 32 of Zombieland.

          1. I thought doubetap was rule 2. Rule 32 is, IIRC, enjoy the little things.

            1. It is #2.

            2. + 3 = #

              Forgot to shift.

            3. Seems like a double-tap would satisfy both rules.

        2. (d) Cardio

      2. I’ve heard CC instructors advocate for shooting through the door – one at the headboard for a warning – wait 10 seconds and if the threat persists put two right below the peep-hole. Some advocate warning shots and some advocate keeping a home-invader as a “would-be” through the door.

        1. I’ve heard CC instructors advocate for shooting through the door – one at the headboard for a warning – wait 10 seconds and if the threat persists put two right below the peep-hole.

          Anybody who advocates shooting through the door should never be allowed near weapons. You only shoot at what you can see and identify.

          1. I agree 100% – I am just repeating what I have heard CCW instructors say when asked about shooting through doors (since there have been several cases of people shooting through them who got off)…I would never shoot through a door except in the case of an INSIDE door of my home after I identified the threat and accounted for all household members (1 other who sleeps next to me).

            1. have you accounted for her lover?

              1. Why do you think he is shooting through the door?

                1. Either a 12ga cock-block or a pants-off-dance-off if there is no cock to block.

      3. (c) shoot to kill, and don’t stop until they are dead.

        I thought you shot to stop, and left the kill/wound decision to God or Newton.

        In any case, that advice is vague on one point: how do you know they’re dead? Unless you happen to have a portable brain wave reader in your holster.

        1. shoot to kill, if you leave them wounded, you need more practice.

        2. I thought you shot to stop, and left the kill/wound decision to God or Newton.

          That’s exactly right, and should be reflected in your tearful statements to police afterwards.

          Of course, when aiming and pulling the trigger, shooting to stop = shooting to kill.

        3. It’s the level of movement that they’re capable of. If they’re moving – shoot again.

      4. If we’re discussing use of fire arms for self-defense, and to avoid transitioning from justifiable homicide to going-to-jail homicide, I’d add (e) don’t reload. That 18th shot is what they’ll say made it premeditated.

    4. That’s cold, man. Shooting into the actual center of mass is a gut shot, it’s a slow agonizing death. NTTAWWT.

  9. I’m assuming her conviction will be appealed? Sounds like the trial judge completely screwed the pooch by ruling that she did, in fact, have a duty to retreat from her own home. Which ain’t the law.

    1. Come on. Rule of Law is so passe.

      Rule of Man is where it’s at, baby!

      The law says whatever the guy in the black robe says it say, regardless of what it actually says! Why? Fuck you, that’s why!

    2. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Florida?

      “she could have escaped the house”???

      Jebus that is stupid.

      1. Worse, the law states she has no duty to attempt to do so before using deadly force if she feels her life is in danger.

    3. That’s wot I was wondering. This is begging to be appealed.

  10. How is firing a shot in the ceiling assault with a deadly weapon? If the bullit had accidently struck someone you might have an argument. This makes no sense.

    1. Assault does not require physical contact, you’re thinking of battery. Sufficient threat of violence is assault.

      1. That is how fucked up our judicial system is. If I get so fucking pissed at you I happen to yell “i’ll fucking kill you you motherfucker”, bam, guilty of assault.

        We’re are truly wussified.

        1. If I threaten to fuck some guy’s girlfriend loudly enough, will I be charged with threatening to commit assault with a deadly weapon?

          1. pardon me while I whip this out….

          2. For some reason your comment made me think of the crocodile dundee scene where the dude pulls out the swithblade and dundee pulls out his bowie and says thats not a knife, this is a knife:)

            1. “I see you’ve played knifey-forky before.”

              1. knifey-spooney, goddamnit.

            2. I was thinking more along the lines of blazing saddles.

        2. Depends on the circumstances. It’s only assault if a reasonable person would interpret it as a real threat of force rather than just a rash statement.

          But it’s probably best to train yourself to not say threatening things when you’re angry. Just to be safe.

          1. Tell that to Joe Lipari – he quoted Fight Club (which any rational person would consider a “rash statement”) on Facebook and faced Terrorism Charges in NYC.…..hreat.html

            1. Was he convicted?

              1. No he ended up getting off, but he got dragged through a lot of shit. He was stoned when they SWAT raided his apartment (only a few hours after he stone-posted on Facebook). He did a hilarious interview on NPR – I’m sure you can Google it somewhere.

          2. But it’s probably best to train yourself to not say threatening things when you’re angry. Just to be safe.

            Like I said, well and truly wussified.

            1. I know; it is the height of civilization to threaten to kill people.

              1. the height of civilization should be to understand the difference between talking and acting. we blur those lines because we’re completely freaked out.

                1. Since talking is an action, the line will always be blurred. And flawed people will always be making judgments on when the line is crossed.

                  Credible threats of violence are used to coerce people into doing things. It is more than just speech.

            2. I’m pretty sure that that definition of assault has been firmly enshrined in common law for quite some time. This is not new by any means. And seems quite appropriate to me. If you are holding a gun and say “I am going to kill you”, you had better have a damn good reason/justification for making that threat.

              1. depends on what happens. If the person your threatening runs away and you make no attempt to follow or shoot, then where is the assault. I have to physically attempt to harm you, otherwise, assault is the wrong chrage. If she shot at her husband in a defined way (which should be included in the article), then assault is justifiable. If she shot at her ceiling to make it clear this was not an empty gun, well you shouldn’t shoot in random directions, but you did not attempt to harm the individual and so assault is unwarranted.

                But just yelling at someone unarmed and not attempting to approach cannot be considered assault by anyone reasonable.

                1. I certainly agree that lots of threats don’t reach the level of assault. But many do. And, for better or worse, flawed people will inevitably have to make judgment calls and they will sometimes make the wrong call. If you are just remarking on the bad calls made, then I agree with you. It seemed like you were questioning the whole concept of the crime of assault if no actual battery occurs.

        3. Laws against assault sans battery go back to ancient Greece (and likely before).

      2. Is that true even when the boyfriend was assaulting her first? Is when she fired the gun the time when he pushed her in the bathroom and she fell, hit her head, etc.? In most bathrooms, it is hard to retreat (usually only one door). Just not clear what the situation was when she fired the gun.

  11. Didn’t I read somewhere that this law was put into effect because of overzealous prosecutors?

    Didn’t seem to do much good.

  12. Assuming the defense is able to present the history of abuse, I doubt there would be a jury in the world who would convict her. Although I would have thought the same thing about the Wollard case just based on the “castle doctrine”. I guess I should learn to never underestimate the stupidity of a jury.

    1. Why wasn’t she allowed to present the history of abuse in this instance?

      1. Because fuck her…that’s why.

      2. The prosecutors may, when the case goes to trial (remember this story was about a pretrial motion being dismissed by the judge, the full trial hasn’t happened yet), argue that the history of abuse is irrelevant. It’s bullshit, but they’ll probably motion to suppress any mention of what an abusive shitstain the ex-boyfriend is.

        Remember, it’s not the prosecutor’s job to seek justice, but to win at all costs.

        1. Loki, Ms. Alexander was convicted last month. Her attorneys have filed a motion for a retrial, but if it’s denied, she’ll be sentenced to 20 years mandatory minimum.

          1. Which then raises the question – how did they get 12 retards on the jury?

  13. The judge who imposed the sentence called it “clearly excessive” but said, “I am duty-bound to apply the law as it has been enacted by the legislature.”

    Someone needs to give him a pamphlet on judge nullification.

  14. Yeah, I can never figure out why judges show much love to women abusers and child molesters. I have a theory though. They are lawyers after all.

    1. They oughta all be lynched, is that right?

      1. That’ll work.

  15. What’s up with this “not allowed to testify about the assailant’s history of violence against his daughter” bullshit, anyway?

  16. Does anybody know the particulars of when she fired the gun? I am confused about the circumstances, re-read the article, and am still not sure. I think it is in reference to the boyfriend shoving her in the bathroom, but can’t tell. Anybody know?

    1. Ms. Alexander was able to get to the garage, from which she intended to leave the house. However, the garage door was broken, and she didn’t have her keys. She grabbed her gun and went back inside to get her keys. At that point, she told her husband to leave. He refused, and – while still screaming, calling her a bitch and threatening her – he moved toward her. She fired in response, and he left.

      1. I felt a ripping when you kicked my nuts with the above paragraph. An asshole careerist prosecutor, a zero tolerance judge, and a jury of sheep. I’m going to need stitches here.

  17. Angela Corey

    Names familiar. Wasn’t that Blair’s retarded cousin on The facts of Life?

  18. So it looks like Angela Corey is hostile to gun owners and self-defense.

  19. Actually, had she killed him it would have been entirely justified under the law. Comprehend that “logic” for a moment.

  20. Once again, and as in so many other similar cases, the saddest part of this story is that a jury actually convicted her.

    1. The saddest part is that – by the “letter of the law” interpretation – this was the correct decision. You have to depend on police or prosecutorial discretion in arresting and prosecuting, jury nullification or judicial activism in trying and convicting – “spirit of the law” interpretation – to achieve what seems to a reasonable person to be actual justice.

      But that’s what all the mandatory minimum and zero tolerance laws are about – using common sense and discretion are, by definition, discriminating. You didn’t like administrators discriminating in their exercise of power, how do you like it when they are not allowed to discriminate?

      Because it’s not like the remedy for abuse of power can ever be “just don’t give people so much power in the first place”. We all know that’s just silly.

      1. You are absolutely correct. Problem is, Florida residents don’t realize that this law can put them in jail quicker than exonerate them! Knock, knock! Wake up Florida! Your government just set you up!

  21. I’m surprised that REASON.COM brought this case up.

    Personally, I know people will dance, sing, and do the cha-cha-cha in explaining how Zimmerman is innocent and this women is guilty and that it has nothing to do with race.

    The fact is, this discretion that the police have to call a homicide SYG and immune an individual from prosecution is AWFUL!!! It is going to be abused and if you are black, there’s no way in HELL SYG would apply even in the SPIRIT or the LETTER of the LAW.

    To summarize, Stand Your Ground Laws is as follows:

    PERSON A (that is not black) is immune from prosecution in the event that they use lethal force against PERSON B (that is not a member of law enforcement) and there are no witnesses and video cameras as PERSON A will obviously claim self-defense.

    100% True in this case. Can’t wait to hear the song you all will dance to proving that this woman had no right to defend herself.

    1. Then you’re going to be waiting forever since people are pretty unanimously in support of here, dipshit. Why don’t you learn to fucking read?

      1. She’s a stupid fucking leftist. All stupid fucking leftists know that libertarians are just closeted Republicans. She doesn’t have to read the comments.

        1. Well, there u go.

  22. More Liberal hypocrisy rearing its ugly head. Liberals only support women’s right so long as they play the victim card. But because Ms. Alexander stopped being a victim and actually stood up for herself the Liberals are calling her a criminal under their gun laws.

    1. I’m kind of liberal. I believe that everyone (including convicted felons) should be allowed to have a gun in their homes. And, I believe people should have the right to stand their ground while being attacked.

      Silly me just believes that one should be investigated in the event of homicides…but that ‘s just me.

  23. If Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are getting involved in support of her, then she simply must be a plant by the government and deserves to be in jail.

    I mean no one told the story of the poor white man who this happened too.


    1. Black people are pretty racist. And, they’ve had the best role models one can ask for over the last 400years, or so.

      1. maybe I should have add my

        /sarcasm tag

    2. Please, let’s don’t turn this into a racial thing. It doesn’t matter…it just doesn’t matter. It’s a miscarriage of justice. That’s all! Besides, I read two other stories on here that were white guys victimized by the same laws. I don’t think race has any part of this. It’s the mandatory minimums and the way that stand your ground is written that is the problem. This isn’t over yet. I feel nauseated!

  24. Not sure yet on Zimmerman. Wollard should bet let out immediately and apologized to. Alexander should be given a medal of bravery from the governor. If I fire my gun into the ceiling, then I am obviously not assaulting anyone. I might be abusing the noise ordinance and making work for myself in home repairs. The only assault is on the ear drums in a closed environment, so I should have said to cover them before firing. If the gun is not pointed at you, which I then proceed to miss with my bad shooting, then attempted anything is preposterous. If leaving my house after I have been threatened was the legal thing to do, then the law needs to be changed. Has the ex been charged with anything yet?

  25. Surely someone in Florida is re-thinking this whole thing! Come on! It’s ridiculous at best to think that Marissa was doing anything other than trying to prevent any harm to anyone by shooting into the air. If nothing else, it demonstrates that all she wanted was to escape whatever her abusive husband had in store for her. Her sister also claims that Marissa told her that when she fired the shot, only the husband was present. That would be only one count, not three, if true. Also, the premature baby was still in the hospital when this happened. The baby’s premature birth was initiated by the abusive husband. If this isn’t a case of “miscarriage of justice”, I don’t know what is…

  26. This underscores why you should never fire a warning shot. Firing a warning shot tends to get you arrested for reckless endangerment, if nothing else. You always shoot to kill. That way, there is only one story told to the police.

    I suspect her lawyer was less than stellar. Maybe she’ll have better luck on appeal.

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