JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Marissa Alexander was released on bond and is now on house arrest.
A judge wasn't expected to make a decision on bail until January, but on Wednesday a judge granted her request to be released from jail until her new trial starts in March.
Alexander's supporters held a rally at the Jacksonville Landing Thursday.
"We've been crying at the joy of what this means but also the fact that she still is up against something. It's a blessed high. We've been joyous, we've been happy," said Aleta Alston Toure from Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign.
Alexander's lawyer, Bruce Zimet, told Channel 4 that Judge James Daniel granted a motion for pretrial release Wednesday and he expects Alexander to remain out of jail until her next hearing in January.
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Supporters said it is an important step.
"This is a victory but the battle is not over," said Anthony Heard. "The battle will be won in court but were all just happy that's she's going to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we're going to focus on that right now."
Alexander's release from jail was welcome news to one of her highest profile supporters, Congresswoman Corrine Brown.
"When her attorney called at 8 this morning, he said, 'I want to give you something to shout about. She was released last night.' That was the Lord working," Brown said.
The case began in Aug. 2010 when Alexander was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after firing what she called a warning shot toward her allegedly abusive husband's direction, while he was with his two children.
After she turned down a plea agreement that would have given her three years in prison, a jury found Alexander guilty and sentenced under the state's "10-20-Life" sentencing guidelines. It requires a 20-year sentence for any crime that involves the firing of a gun.
The Congresswoman received a call from Alexander's attorney shortly after the release was granted. Brown has been an outspoken supporter of Alexander since learning about the case.
"The day she got sentenced, I saw her little girl and she was crying her heart out and I told her baby this is the beginning, not the end and I just wanted her to be able to spend time with her family," Brown said. "I believe that is very important."
Brown told Channel 4 a lot of people hadn't heard, other than through word of mouth, that the woman whose charged for firing shots toward her husband during a domestic dispute was out on bond.
"I am not happy with the criminal justice system in Jacksonville and how we treat people in our community. It does not have anything to do with black or white. People in this community are not happy with the criminal justice system," Brown said.
Supporters have been pushing for Angela Corey to drop the charges altogether.
"A woman's right to protect herself and you know to live safe and free from danger, and harm should have never been on trial," said Angie Nixon from Florida New Majority, "and we're very excited that this is the first step in righting a grave wrong."
Alexander's family did not attend the rally.
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