JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman whose case has drawn national attention was back in a Duval County courtroom Wednesday afternoon as a judge heard arguments over whether Marissa Alexander should be allowed out on bond while awaiting retrial.
Judge James Daniel said he likely won't make a ruling until the next pretrial hearing Jan. 15 because of a backlog in cases, but could still rule before then.
Protesters from across Florida and the nation are adamant that Alexander released from jail, even petitioned State Attorney Angela Corey to drop the charges. They said they were disappointed because they wanted her released Wednesday, but they understand the decision to wait.
The state attorney's office released a statement saying it "has no intention of dropping the very serious charges against the defendant. The SEO will continue to pursue justice for our two child victims and their father who were endangered by the shot the defendant fired at them."
The case began in August 2010 when Alexander was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault. Court records show she got into an argument with her estranged husband, Ron Gray, who, according to police reports, then shoved her. She told police she fired a shot in his direction while he was with their two children. She claims the shot was just a warning, fired in self-defense.
In her original trial on the charge, a judge denied her stand your ground petition, saying it didn't apply because she left the house and willingly returned with the gun.
She was originally allowed out on bond while awaiting her 2012 trial, but that was revoked after the judge was told she violated the terms of her release by getting into another fight with her husband.
Alexander also turned down a plea agreement from the state attorney's office that would have given her three years in prison. Instead she went for a jury trial and was found guilty of three counts of aggravated armed assault and sentenced under the state's 10-20-life sentencing guidelines that require a 20-year sentence for any crime that involves the firing of a gun.
That conviction was overturned on appeal in September, the 1st District Court of Appeal found the original trial judge improperly instructed the jury on how it should consider her claims of self-defense.
Alexander was returned from state prison to the Duval County jail.
Her trial is scheduled for March 31.