BRUNSWICK, Ga. – In a one page letter, some area pastors are asking State Attorney Angela Corey to once again offer Marissa Alexander a three-year sentence for her aggravated assault charges. Alexander refused a three-year plea deal during her first trial.
Alexander now faces a 60-year sentence for those charges in her retrial. It's a request the pastors are hoping Corey will take seriously. They believe the state attorney's focus should be on more pressing issues.
"There is an ongoing battle in Jacksonville a lot of violence and murder and the pastors want to get this under control. And this really is a distraction," said Ken Adkins, pastor of Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship.
In 2012 Alexander rejected the State Attorney's Office three-year plea deal on three aggravated assault charges, where prosecutors said she pointed her gun in the direction of her estranged husband and two of his children.
Alexander, 33, claimed she was standing her ground, but the judge in the case ruled that out and she was sentenced to 20 years for three counts of aggravated assault. Last year, her conviction was overturned. Now she is facing a retrial. Adkins said he and a handful of pastors would like Corey to offer her the three-year plea deal again.
"We need to move beyond this so we can begin to heal this city. As community leaders who have a vested interest in this community; we believe that justice would best be served by this very fair offer and it is our prayer that Miss Alexander accepts this offer so she could receive credit for time served, complete the remainder of her sentence and continue on with her life," said Adkins.
Friday evening the State Attorney's Office responded to the pastors' letter with this statement:
"The State Attorney's Office has received the letter. The State Attorney's Office does not extend plea offers publicly. Offers are appropriately extended between parties or in open court."
Advocates for Alexander say she should never have been put on trial in the first place.