Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alexander Awaits Decision on Bail; Estranged Husband's Texts to Her Show She's No Danger, Attorney Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Alexander Awaits Decision on Bail; Estranged Husband's Texts to Her Show She's No Danger, Attorney Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Larry Hannan

Even after Marissa Alexander fired a shot in her husband's direction, Rico Gray still had needs.

During a hearing Wednesday to determine whether Alexander should get bail while awaiting a new trial, her attorneys said she received texts from Gray asking if he could keep having sex with her. That happened after Alexander's second arrest involving domestic violence against Gray and after a judge ordered her to stay away from him.

The text is important because it demonstrates that Gray is not afraid of his estranged wife, and if he isn't in fear of her, there's no reason for Alexander to remain in jail, said attorney Bruce Zimet.

"The real problem was between Mr. Gray and Ms. Alexander," Zimet said. "That no longer exists because the relationship is totally different."

Alexander has no criminal record except when it comes to Gray, and if granted bail she will have no contact with him, Zimet said.

Alexander, 33, is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon because in addition to Gray, his two children were with him when she fired what she called a warning shot against an abusive husband. Circuit Judge James Daniel did not rule Wednesday and seemed unsure of when a ruling would come.

"I'll get to this as soon as I can," Daniel said, while adding he had 50 other cases on his docket to deal with.

Alexander's case drew national attention after she was denied immunity under the state's Stand Your Ground law and sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison under the 10-20-Life statutes for discharging a firearm during certain felonies.

Prosecutors dispute the suggestion she was firing a warning shot and say the bullet hit the wall, not the ceiling, and it could have killed Gray or his children.

The conviction was thrown out after the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Daniel made a mistake in shifting the burden to Alexander to prove she was acting in self-defense. During jury instructions, Daniel said she must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was battered by Gray.

A new trial has been scheduled for March 31.

Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said Alexander should stay in jail because she remains a threat to Gray and his children. …

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