Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NAACP Backing Stand Your Ground; Woman Faces 20 Years in Prison in Jacksonville Case Involving Shooting

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NAACP Backing Stand Your Ground; Woman Faces 20 Years in Prison in Jacksonville Case Involving Shooting

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Broward

The NAACP's Jacksonville chapter has thrown its support behind a woman who will be sentenced Monday in a shooting where she claimed self-defense against an abusive husband under the state's Stand Your Ground law.

Marissa Danielle Alexander, 31, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault in August 2010 after she fired a single shot into the ceiling of her home during a dispute that somehow turned physical.

A judge denied her immunity in a Stand Your Ground hearing. And after a jury found her guilty, she faces a mandatory term of 20 years in prison.

"This is a clear case of domestic violence against Marissa," branch President Isaiah Rumlin said Friday. "After looking into it and studying the case, this is a clear case of Stand Your Ground as it relates to what she had to do on the date that she did it."

Alexander's husband, Rico Gray, 36, was arrested in 2006 and 2009 on misdemeanor charges of domestic battery. Charges were dropped in one case and he was given probation in the other. Alexander had an injunction for protection against domestic violence against Gray following his 2009 arrest. Police have withheld Alexander's address and it is unclear if the couple were living together.

But authorities, on the accounts of her husband and her two stepsons, have said it was Alexander who began the violence, "hitting on" Gray. In her arrest report, all three said she pointed the gun in their direction before the shot was fired.

Less than five months later, Alexander was arrested, again, on a domestic battery charge involving her husband.

Alexander has maintained that it was Gray who was the aggressor, becoming enraged when she told him she was leaving him.

"He assaulted me, shoving, straggling and holding me against my will, preventing me from fleeing all while I begged him to leave," Alexander wrote in a blog posted by her first husband on a website set up in support of her.

In the post, Alexander wrote the attack began while she was using the restroom at their house. She said she had made it to the garage but could not leave when she realized she did not have her keys and the garage door was not working. …

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