Marissa Alexander: Domestic Abuse Victim Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot

Marissa Alexander, the woman who was convicted for firing a warning shot at her then-husband, in an attempt to scare him away from abusing her, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A judge and jury convicted the 31-year-old mom of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and the sentencing was handed down on Friday. Alexander maintains that:

“I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do. That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”

Despite her testimony and the statements made by former husband, Rico Gray that he abused her, the mom of two is now facing 20 years in prison. Greg Newburn, Florida project director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums stated after the sentencing that:

“Florida’s mandatory 10-20-life gun law forced the Court to impose an arbitrary, unjust and completely inappropriate sentence. As long as Florida keeps its inflexible gun sentencing laws, we will continue to see cases like Ms. Alexander’s.”

Helen Jenkins, Marissa Alexander’s mother, told Huffington Post after the sentencing that:

“It’s like a nightmare that we can’t wake up from. But we just take it one day at a time. Emotionally we are spent, but every day we start over because we have to fight for Marissa.”

Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the case, stated that:

“I feel like when someone fires a loaded gun inside of a home with two children standing in the direction where the bullet was fired, we have to have tough laws that say you don’t do that. Justice, with the laws of the state of Florida, was served. But I don’t believe her supporters will ever believe that.”

Rep. Corrine Brown, however, disagrees. Brown confronted Corey in the hallway after the sentencing hearing. CNN reports that Brown told the prosecutor:

“There is no justification for 20 years. All the community was asking for was mercy and justice.”

Corrine Brown went on to say of the sentencing that:

“She was overcharged by the prosecutor. Period. She never should have been charged.”

Marissa Alexander’s family is currently raising money to hire another lawyer to appeal the case.

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