A Florida woman is facing 20 years in prison after being convicted on three counts of Aggravated Assault for firing a gun in the air to scare off her abusive husband. Marissa Alexander was arrested in August 2010 after a fight with her husband, who she says was abusive for many years. She said in court documents that she tried to escape after her husband strangled her but she was unable to get out of the locked garage so she grabbed her gun instead. No one was hurt when she shot at the ceiling.
Alexander’s lawyer said he did not use the Battered Spouse defense because it is a psychiatric defense that requires an expert to testify. Instead, he based Alexander’s defense on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The Stand Your Ground law has caused controversy in Florida since it has been cited as a defense by George Zimmerman, the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
First Coast News 4/18/12; News4Jax 4/18/12 4/17/12; Feminist Daily News Wire4/18/12