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    Angela Corey Reminds FL Legislators of Facts of Marissa Alexander Case

    Angela Corey Reminds FL Legislators of Facts of Marissa Alexander Case

    Marissa Alexander Supporters Howl as “Warning Shot” Narrative Destroyed

    Florida State Attorney Angela Corey today sent an email to Florida legislators for the stated purpose of informing them of the facts of the Marissa Alexander “warning shot” case in case they are asked about it by constituents.  The email includes an attachment that outlines the facts of the case, all quite devastating to Alexander’s claims of innocence.  Corey’s transmission of this email has been reported by numerous news outlets, including the Florida Times-Union newspaper.

    None of the facts contained in Corey’s email should be unfamiliar to loyal Legal Insurrection readers, but it’s always interesting to hear them from the Prosecutor’s “mouth,” so to speak.  Also, some of the included content — such as the layout of the house, the 911 calls, and photos of Rico Gray’s injuries — have not previously been available to us to report, and are embedded below.

    Alexander’s supporters, who only a couple of weeks ago were calling for Corey’s resignation over her handling of the Alexander case (see NOW calls for Angela Corey to resign over Marissa Alexander case), are fairly howling in outrage in the face of this factual disclosure.

    Corey’s email attachment, which is provided in its original form at the bottom of this post, has a variety of links to pieces of evidence.  The attachment is so brief it hardly bears summarizing, but I thought it might be illuminating to actually embed the contents of those links in a fuller version of the document.  So, here we go:

    STATE OF FLORIDA VS. MARISSA ALEXANDER

    Marissa Alexander to her husband: “I’ve got something for your ass.”

    The FACTS :

    In August 2010, Marissa Alexander was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) after she shot at her husband and two step-children (ages 10 and 13) in the couple’s Jacksonville home. It has been erroneously reported that Alexander fired a warning shot into the ceiling in order to escape her abusive husband. That information is inaccurate. The facts of this case, from the actual trial testimony, are as follows: Alexander and her then-husband, Rico Gray, were living together in their home. The two had a verbal argument over text messages Gray found on his wife’s phone. The messages were to and from Alexander’s ex-husband, Lincoln Alexander. The verbal argument started in the couple’s bathroom and moved to the living room. Gray decided to leave the home during the verbal argument and told his children to put on their shoes and that it was time to go.

    Layout of house--tight

    In the process of Gray leaving the home, Alexander told her husband, “I’ve got something for your ass” and left the living room. Ms. Alexander then walked through the kitchen, through the laundry room, and then into the garage, where she retrieved her 9mm handgun from the glove compartment of her car. Ms. Alexander had ample time and opportunity to leave the home. (Rico Gray never left the living room area where he and his sons were about to exit via the front door.) Alexander then walked back through the laundry room and into the kitchen. When Gray saw her put a round in the chamber, he yelled “no” and tried to scoop his two boys under his arm to protect them, at which time she fired a shot into the wall, at head level – 5’8”, where Gray and his two sons were still standing. The bullet passed through the kitchen wall – bullet hole photo – exited the other side, and then entered the ceiling of the living room. Gray and his two sons then ran for their lives from their home and called 911 – Aug. 2010 call. Alexander then locked herself inside the home. [NOTE: I have enlarged bullet hole photo–the bullet hole can be seen directly in middle of photograph, at head height. — AFB]

    Marissa Alexander bullet hole photos closeup

    JSO SWAT officers were called and eventually convinced Alexander to come out of the house. Alexander was arrested for Aggravated Assault (3 counts). The presiding circuit judge later released her on bond with the condition that she have absolutely NO contact with the victim. While Alexander was out on bond, she and Gray decided to get back together – photos from the fall of 2010. Gray was deposed during this time and created a story that he would have beaten Alexander that day had his kids not been inside the home. Gray later recanted the story and admitted he made it up because he thought it would keep Alexander out of jail. The State did not know they were actually living together until after the sentencing when Gray produced the above photos.

    Rico Gray, Marissa Alexander, and their baby, during time protective order in effect

    In December 2010, while out on bail for the shooting, Alexander went to Gray’s new home and beat him in the face – Gray’s injuries and arrest report. Gray called 911 to report the crime – Dec. 2010 call and arrest report.  A judge revoked Alexander’s bond because she violated the judge’s order. Alexander pled and was adjudicated guilty of the Domestic Battery she committed against Rico Gray in that case.

    Rico Gray's injuries following beating by Marissa Alexander

    As to the shooting case, Alexander then requested a Stand Your Ground (SYG) hearing [actually, a “self-defense immunity hearing] and tried to claim she shot the gun in order to save her life. She claimed she could not leave the home because the garage door was not working. In fact, police checked the garage door and found it to be in normal working order. The victims all testified at the SYG hearing as to the events as they related them on both the 911 call and to the first reporting officer. Ms. Alexander testified at the SYG hearing – the judge did not find her version to be the truth. The judge denied Ms. Alexander her immunity, finding that she shot in anger rather than fear – judge’s order.

    At the request of defense attorney Kevin Cobbin, State Attorney Angela Corey then personally sat down and talked with the defendant extensively about her case in order to make a decision about waiving the firearm minimum mandatory and allowing her to plead to lesser time. Mitigation presented indicated that something less than the 20 year minimum mandatory would be possible. However, the cold, hard facts were that Alexander deliberately fired a gun toward Rico and his children and then blatantly violated a judge’s order to stay away from the victim, and incurred a new arrest for injuring Rico Gray during the pendency of the shooting case. Thus, Ms. Alexander was not a viable candidate for probation or community control. Ms. Corey authorized her prosecutors to extend a plea offer of three (3) years in prison. Ms. Alexander turned that offer down and instead, decided to go to trial.

    At trial, one of the young victims testified, “I thought I was fixing to die” – trial transcript. Rico Gray also testified how Ms. Alexander, “Put a bullet in the chamber,” while he was standing in the living room – trial transcript. Ms. Alexander testified at the trial too. A judge, different from the judge presiding at the Stand Your Ground hearing, denied two motions for acquittal during the trial. The motions for acquittal were requested after the State’s case and then again after the defense’s case. A jury of her peers – black and white, male and female – convicted Alexander in twelve minutes on three counts of Aggravated Assault with Actual Discharge of a Firearm. Pursuant to Florida’s 10-20-Life law, once Alexander was convicted, her sentence was set at 20 years in prison per count. (The gun minimum mandatory sentences are designed to punish the inherently dangerous act of using and/or discharging the firearm and are not diminished when no injury results. E.g., in a robbery where items are taken at gunpoint and the firearm discharged, but no victim is struck by a bullet.)

    As for reports of past abuse between the couple, Gray was arrested in 2009 on a charge of Domestic Battery. The charges were later dropped. It has been reported that Ms. Alexander had a “restraining order” on Mr. Gray at the time of the shooting. The truth is Mr. Gray and Ms. Alexander had a “no violence” court order against each other at the time of the shooting. It was a mutual nonviolence order that did allow contact with each other.

    There have been reports that Gray has a “history” of domestic violence. The truth is that Mr. Gray had a 2006 arrest involving another woman. He pled no contest to Domestic Battery and received probation. In 1994, Mr. Gray also pled no contest to Domestic Battery. This incident involved a fight with his brother.

    If you have any questions about this case, please submit them to [email protected]

    And, as promised, here’s the Corey email attachment as originally sent:

     

    As an example of just how crazy Corey’s email is driving Alexander supporters, I present for your viewing pleasure this comment quote from someone who self-identifies as “SouthernGirl2” and writes for a blog called SouthernGirl2, Ametia, and Rikyrah:

    I loathe this hateful witch. Why is she doing this? Angela Corey is hellbent on sending Marissa Alexander to prison for 60 years while GZ walks free to taunt Trayvon Martin’s family relentlessly. She clearly has a vendetta against this black woman who dared to stand up for her rights and shine the light on Corey’s hateful bias when it comes to the prosecution of black people in Florida.

    If anyone cares to look, I’m sure there are an infinite number of examples of similar outrage out there on the internets.

    –-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


    Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

    DONATE

    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.

    Comments



     
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    tom swift | March 20, 2014 at 9:30 am

    What is the purpose of a warning shot?

    It’s to alert your opponent that you have a gun, that it’s operational, it’s loaded (unless it’s a single-shot, in which case it’s unloaded), that you know how to fire it, and that you will fire it.

    In this case, Mr Gray’s reaction seemed to be that of someone already aware of all these things. So a warning shot would provide no addition information, and was completely superfluous as a warning. And that makes it more likely that it was intended as an actual deadly attack.

    It’s not much, but it’s probably more than we can extract from “I’ve got something for your ass.”


     
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    snopercod | March 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

    What ever happened to trying the facts *in court* where the defense can argue them? Does Florida not do that any more?


       
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      Lina Inverse in reply to snopercod. | March 20, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It’s usually the job of a jury to find facts, and Corey’s in part basing this on the fact that a jury did indeed come to a judgement.

      That said, isn’t this is the woman who said, after a jury acquitted Zimmerman, that he was a murderer or the like?

      “What ever happened to trying the facts *in court* where the defense can argue them? Does Florida not do that any more?”

      Um, the facts were tried in court. Missed that, did you?


         
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        tom swift in reply to Amy in FL. | March 20, 2014 at 11:33 am

        well, there was indeed a trial, and a jury decision to convict. But there was also a problem with the judge’s instructions to the jury. So, strictly speaking, we don’t know what the jury decision would have been if the jury had been given the proper instructions.


           
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          platypus in reply to tom swift. | March 21, 2014 at 3:37 am

          Thank you for your comments. I was getting pretty lonely in my belief that this case is not a slam dunk but that her history is being used by Corey to put it over the top.

          Even if Corey is on the right side this time, it doesn’t change the reality of her vendetta against GZ. She’s irredeemable because of that. This case might be one of her “broken clock” moments.

          Snopercod asked:

          “What ever happened to trying the facts *in court* where the defense can argue them? Does Florida not do that any more?”

          I replied:

          “Um, the facts were tried in court.”

          The facts were indeed presented in court where the defense could (and did) argue them. That there was an error with the jury instructions after all of the facts and arguments of both the defense and the prosecution were put out there in open court does not change the fact that all of the facts and arguments of both the defense and the prosecution were put out there in open court.

          The facts of the case as presented in that trial are going to be the same facts presented in any retrial. The error in the jury instructions did not change one single fact which was presented as evidence by the prosecution in the first trial and then argued against by the defense in the first trial.

          The claim that in this case in particular, and in Florida in general, “trying the facts *in court* where the defense can argue them” is something that just doesn’t happen, is incorrect.


     
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    tom swift | March 20, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I see the random Mad Thumbdownbot is active again. Well, isn’t that special?

    Maybe that feature should go. It’s long past the point of outright silliness.


       
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      Henry Hawkins in reply to tom swift. | March 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      So, you have no problem with upthumbs you might get, but downthumbs are wrong? Please answer four questions:

      How do you know those who downthumb you do so randomly?

      How do you know those who downthumb you are mad?

      How do you know those who downthumb you are bots?

      How do you know downthumbing you is silly?


         
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        tom swift in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

        Ah, late to the party, and you’ll straighten everyone out. How wonderful.

        Unfortunately, your reading skills are not up to the task, as your questions obviously have nothing at all to do with my post. An observant person would have noted a large number of “down” thumbs suddenly appearing on this page. But I never claimed the honor of being the target, as they weren’t on my posts.

        The Mad Thumbdownbot is a reference to previous posts on other pages about this. To clue you in – when factual or otherwise non-controversial posts get a thumbs down, a reflective person might well wonder what the hell’s going on. Perhaps you can provide enlightenment on that score.


           
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          Henry Hawkins in reply to tom swift. | March 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm

          You, specifically ‘tom swift’, have 17 of the 27 downthumbs on this thread alone. Leaving aside comical assessments as to who is and isn’t observant, I’ll ask again the questions you appear, by needs, to be dodging, with a small edit to help you out:

          How do you know those who downthumb you or anyone else do so randomly?

          How do you know those who downthumb you or anyone else are mad?

          How do you know those who downthumb you or anyone else are bots?

          How do you know downthumbing you or anyone else is silly?


             
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            platypus in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 21, 2014 at 3:42 am

            Well, it’s only fair that you get an equal number of downthumbs to your upthumbs. Anyway, please be nice to tom swift because he’s on my good list on this thread.

            If we all lived in a dormitory, how many of us do you suppose would get short-sheeted on a regular basis?


             
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            Murphy in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 21, 2014 at 7:32 am

            I would short sheet anyone who ran around waving his hands in the air wailing “MOOOOOMMMMMMMY! SOME MEAN KID GIB ME A MEAN NASTY *THUMB DOWN* …… MOMMMMMMMY *DO SOMFING* !!!!!!!!!”


             
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            Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 21, 2014 at 11:19 am

            Sorry, plat, can’t abide a chronic hypocrite. [email protected]

            Re: Up/Down thumbs, I feel I’m in the zone if I get at least 3 ups and 1 down.


     
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    Ragspierre | March 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Alexander needs to adopt a faux-islamic name, and begin a correspondence with Danny Glover.


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