A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for a woman sentenced to 20 years to prison after she fired a warning shot in a wall during a dispute with her husband.
A Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot as her estranged husband who was allegedly attacking her has been granted a retrial, but this time she could face 60 years in prison, according to The Florida Times-Union.
Marissa Alexander was convicted in 2012 under Florida's 10-20-life law, which requires a mandatory minimum sentencing in certain crimes involving a firearm. Alexander was previously denied immunity under the state's Stand Your Ground law.
The jury found her guilty of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was given a 20-year sentence for each. The judge ordered that the sentence be served concurrently, meaning she would spend 20 years in prison, WTEV reports.
The Office of State Attorney Angela Corey announced Friday that it will seek a consecutive sentence if Alexander is convicted again, meaning she would serve 60 years in prison. However, state law generally prohibits a sentence from increasing upon retrial unless there's a good reason to do so, according to the Times-Union.
Alexander's case has caused controversy across the country and has even inspired a so-called "warning-shot bill" that the state legislature will be considering when the session starts Tuesday. The NRA-backed bill would be an expansion of Florida's Stand Your Ground law and would make it legal to fire a warning shot to scare off an attacker, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The bill is expected to pass, but not everyone is happy about that. Mark O'Mara, who previously defended George Zimmerman, wrote a guest column in the Orlando Sentinel calling the bill "a bad law designed to fix a bad law," saying it would promote the misuse of firearms.
In Alexander's case, she claims her estranged husband accused her of infidelity days after she had given birth to a child. When he got violent she tried to escape but couldn't get the garage door open. She grabbed a gun from a car and when he charged again, she fired a shot into the wall.
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