[UPDATE- January 10, 2014: Court Records today show the state’s motion to revoke Marissa Alexander’s bond has been denied]
Supporters of Marissa Alexander are upset, alleging Florida’s Attorney General Angela Corey has made blatantly false accusations that Marissa has violated terms of her bond, and her attorney Bruce Zimet has filed a response asking the court to deny the state’s motion to revoke the bond.
According to the AG office, within days of her release on bond while waiting for a new trial, Marissa Alexander did all the things ordinary people do – got a new driver’s license, went to the bank, went shopping for clothes, or drove relatives to a hair shop and the airport.
But all the “ordinary” things she did were in violation of court orders, and could land her back in jail this Friday, reports the Florida Times-Union.
Marissa is not in a position to do ordinary things. On October 31st she was granted a new trial date of March 31, 2014. She was released November 27th on three bonds – totalling over $250,000 – on home detention, or house arrest, until trial, and wasn’t supposed to leave home except for court, medical emergencies or to satisfy any requirements of her pretrial services program, like a drug test.
In a motion filed Monday to have the bond revoked, State Attorney General Angela Corey’s office said Marissa is “once again violating the court’s orders, and this court should not continue to allow itself to be disrespected in such blatant fashion.” A hearing on the motion is this Friday, January 10th.
Marissa is also not allowed to possess or be near any firearms, can’t consume any alcohol or drugs, and is subject to random drug tests and searches.
She was ordered (again) not to have any contact whatsoever with the “victim” Rico Gray or his two boys. Yet, the AG office also alleges that besides running errands, Marissa has paid a visit to Gray’s brother since her release.
Zimet’s response states that Marissa requested permission from Correctional Services Counselor April Wilson for each trip she took away from home, that Wilson authorized and gave permission for each trip listed in the state’s motion to revoke the bond, but the state failed to include these facts in its motion.
Zimet stated, “No justification supports the state’s failure to include in it’s motion the fact that every activity alleged to be a violation of bond had been approved. Obviously, including those omitted facts would expose the frivolity of the State’s Motion.”
Marissa, now 33 years-old, had served part of a 20 year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing what she described as a warning shot. The appellate court reversed her conviction, ruling that jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous. At trial, the only real issue was whether she had acted in self-defense when she fired the gun.
In her appeal, Marissa maintained that the trial court abused its discretion, by giving self-defense instructions to the jury that improperly put the burden on her to establish – beyond a reasonable doubt – that Rico Gray, her fiance, was committing or was about to commit an aggravated battery when she fired the gun.
Under Florida’s 10-20-Life statutes, anyone who pulls a gun during the commission of a crime receives a mandatory 10-year sentence. Firing a gun during a crime draws 20 years.
Marissa has many supporters including those who have called on Corey’s office to drop the charges, rather than taking the case to trial again.
The case not only exemplifies domestic violence issues but also the misapplication of stand your ground laws, because, per Florida law, it appears that Marissa would originally have deserved immunity from prosecution, but it was denied.
- Happy Thanksgiving! Marissa Alexander Free On Bond (endstandyourground.wordpress.com)
- Marissa Alexander Granted New Trial Date (endstandyourground.wordpress.com)
- Marissa Alexander Gets A New Trial, Can’t Use Stand-Your-Ground (endstandyourground.wordpress.com)