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Marissa Alexander gives first interview since prison release

CNN's Anderson Cooper interview Alexander on AC360

Marissa Alexander appears on CNN the day after her release.
Marissa Alexander appears on CNN the day after her release.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marissa Alexander gave her first television interview Wednesday night since being released from jail and returning home on house arrest.

Alexander spoke exclusively to CNN's Anderson Cooper on AC360, where she expressed love for her children and told Cooper she did not regret declining her first plea deal. She said she is looking forward, is much stronger and has no regrets.

"I don't really feel any different about it, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter," said Alexander. "I can't go back and change what has been decided or what hasn't been decided. I'm just glad I'm out now and I can put all that to bed."

Alexander was released from jail Tuesday, more than four years after firing a gun in the direction of her estranged husband and his two children. She said her husband, Rico Gray, was abusing her and threatened to take her life.

Originally, she was offered a plea agreement and declined it -- a decision she said she stands behind.

Marissa Alexander appears on CNN the day after her release.
Marissa Alexander appears on CNN the day after her release.

"Going to trial was not easy, I don't regret it. It wasn't a decision that came lightly, but I believe in my innocence. And that's why I took it to trial," said Alexander.

But that changed last November when she took the plea to finish three years in jail and spend two years on house arrest.

Her motivation was the guarantee that she would be home with her children.

"When I left, Rihanna, she was 6 months old. When I reconnected with her, she was 2 years old and that is the time I was able to finally see her, sit her in my lap. I didn't even get a chance to see her, so you could imagine just (the) unbelievable joy to see her," said Alexander.

Alexander said she's looking forward to closing this book. Although she's spending the next two years on house arrest, she said she looks forward to falling in love with her family all over again.


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