Florida Mom Denied Stand Your Ground Defense

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    This undated family photo provided by Lincoln B. Alexander shows, Marissa Alexander in her car in Tampa, Fla. Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Lincoln B. Alexander)

    A Jacksonville woman's request to use Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law as a defense for charges that arose after she fired a gun at her husband has been denied by a judge.

    In an order dated earlier this month, Duval County Circuit Court Judge James Daniel rejected 33-year-old Marissa Alexander's request to use the defense at her trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

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    Alexander was previously denied immunity under the state's self-defense law and sentenced to 20 years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    However, that conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, which ruled the trial court mistakenly put the burden on Alexander to prove her husband abused her and that she acted in self-defense.

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    Gabriel Mobley, 36, claims he acted in self-defense when he shot two men outside a Chili's restaurant in February 2008. He testified in a hearing Friday. Joyce Carrazana, the sister of one of the men killed, said both families are trying to get closure.

    Alexander says she was firing warning shots near her husband and his two children.

    "The state stands ready to take this case to trial and seek justice for our two child victims and their father," the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville said in a statement.

    Daniel's order said Florida law prohibits lower court judges like him from overturning legal issues that have been decided at higher court level, or by the original trial court.

    "Although a later appellate decision from another district court recognized a difference in the standards for justifiable use of force under (Florida law), this court is without jurisdiction to alter the law of the case," Daniel wrote.

    "Even if the original decision on defendant's 'stand your ground' motion was based on what may prove to be an inaccurate interpretation of the law."

    Alexander's attorney Buddy Shulz said he is reviewing the judge's ruling.

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