JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marissa Alexander, a woman whose case helped bring national attention to Florida's stand your ground and minimum sentencing laws, was allowed to leave jail late Tuesday afternoon to spend the rest of her sentence on house arrest.
Applause broke out in the courtroom when Judge James Daniel announced he would reject the prosecutors' request for an additional two-year sentence and was releasing Alexander to community control.
As she left the courthouse, Alexander read a prepared statement:
"Today, after the sentence given by Judge Daniel, my family and I will be able to move on with our lives. Although the journey has been long and there's been many difficult moments, I could not have arrived here, where I am today, without the thoughts, many thoughts and many prayers of so many people who voiced their support and encouragement. Words can never express my gratitude for those who stood beside me, including my children and family. I am also grateful that Judge Daniel approached this case with such care and diligence."
In November, Alexander was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to three felony charges for firing a shot in the direction of her husband a two step-children. She got credit for all the time she was held after her initial arrest and first conviction, which was overturned on appeal. She was ordered to serve 65 days in jail, then two additional years under community control.
That time ended Tuesday.
The tension grew as the state cross-examined Alexander's sister, Elena Jenkins in whether or not she was aware of Alexander shooting towards the two children. After nearly two hours and Jenkins denying she was aware of Alexander shooting towards the children, the judge made his decision.