It seemed that justice had finally been served for Florida mom Marissa Alexander, who was facing a 20-year prison sentence for defending herself against her abusive husband. In September of 2013, a Florida appellate court overturned her conviction of aggravated assault stating in part that “jury instructions unfairly made Alexander prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she was acting in self-defense, were wrong, and that there were other incorrect instructions that self-defense only applied if the victim suffered an injury.”
But Alexander’s legal battle is not over, currently there are pretrial hearings taking place for a retrial of Alexander where she is facing 60 years in prison for her overturned charges. Florida prosecutor Angela Corey is seeking the lengthy term because Alexander had turned down a plea deal of three years when her original trial results were overturned.
Last week, five new witnesses testified at a pretrial hearing against Rico Gray and his history of violence. The witnesses included three women with whom Gray has children with, as well as two sister-in-laws. All five women stated that Gray physically intimidated them or brutalized them in the course of his relationships. Marissa Alexander’s new trial is slated to begin in on December 1, 2014 and it is unknown at this time whether or not Circuit Judge James Daniel will allow this new witness testimony to be included in the retrial. The judge has stated that he is struggling to determine why Gray’s previous history of abuse was relevant in the retrial of Alexander.
Gray is now recanting his testimony from his 2010 deposition. It was during this deposition that Gray stated about the incident, “I was in a rage. I called her a w—- and b—- … I told her, you know, I used to always tell her that, if I can’t have you, nobody [sic] going to have you. It was not the first time of ever saying it to her.”
Gray stated that he lied during that 2010 deposition because he did not want Alexander to go to prison. Gray has also stated during the current pretrial hearings that he does not remember being arrested for domestic violence against one of his former girlfriends. Compounding his admitted perjury, three of his former girlfriends have been caught in lies because of their prior testimony. The three women stated that they previously lied about Gray’s abuse in other unrelated abuse cases because they were scared of him, did not want to get involved in the legal process or that they did not want to see him harmed.
On Monday, Oct. 20, Judge Daniel recessed a two-day pretrial hearing for Alexander and the prosecution has called the statements regarding his past violent history irrelevant and an unfair character attack against Gray. In a strange paradox, if Alexander had killed Rico Gray, she possibly would have faced no charges.
Alexander’s trial is set to begin Dec. 1