No ‘stand your ground’ defense here: Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shot at ‘abusive’ husband
May 12, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in the direction of her spouse, who she said was physically abusive.
Marissa Alexander had claimed self-defense, invoking Florida’s now notorious “Stand Your Ground” law, saying she fired the shot inside her home in 2010 to try and deter her husband.
Alexander, a mother-of-three, was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence, WETV reported.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Alexander’s spouse had a record of domestic violence.
In Friday’s sentencing, the judge said he had no choice under state law but to give Alexander the 20-year sentence — the minimum for a conviction for aggravated assault where a firearm has been discharged, the Sentinel said.
“I didn’t want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don’t think this should have been happening,” Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter told WETV.
A judge had rejected Alexander’s “Stand Your Ground” defense, saying she could have run away instead of firing the gun, the newspaper said.
Under the law, a person can use deadly force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm without first attempting to retreat.
The law has been subject to much debate after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.