TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for Marissa Alexander, the local mother now serving a mandatory 20 year prison sentence for a dispute with her husband.
The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the case.
Alexander's case earned national attention because she tried to use the Stand Your Ground law as a defense.
She claimed her husband was abusive and threatened her during a dispute in 2010. She claimed she fired a gun in a wall near her husband and her two stepchildren as a warning.
The State Attorney's Office said Alexander's defense under Stand Your Ground was denied because a judge found she fired the shot in anger and not in fear.
Alexander was also offered a plea deal for three years in prison, which she refused.
A jury ultimately convicted Alexander on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She received the maximum sentence of 20 years.
The appeals court did also state that the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state's "Stand Your Ground" law as a way to defend her actions.
Her case in Jacksonville has drawn attention and criticism aimed at mandatory-minimum sentencing laws.
Alexander's Attorney Bruce Zimet said a news conference will be held soon in Ft. Lauderdale or New York. His team is in the process of alerting Alexander of the overturn.
|Appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County (49.9KB)|