Re: State of Florida trying to throw Marissa Alexander back in jail
Marissa Alexander arrives in court, Oct. 31, 2013.
Marissa Alexander to remain free as she awaits retrial
01/10/14 11:45 AM—Updated 01/10/14 03:03 PM
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By Morgan Whitaker
Marissa Alexander will remain free while she awaits a retrial after a Florida judge decided against revoking her bond Friday.
The Florida State Attorney’s Office, run by Angela Corey, had filed a motion to have Alexander’s bond revoked after she ran errands that appeared to violate the terms of her home detention in the weeks after her release on Nov. 27. Alexander’s correctional service counselor has testified that she authorized all of the trips Alexander took, including shopping for clothes and going to the bank, because she believed they were within the scope of Alexander’s bond conditions. She also testified that she was not worried about the risk of Alexander traveling beyond what she had authorized, in part because she has been wearing a GPS monitor.
Judge James Daniel decided that, while Alexander’s errands were beyond the scope of her bond conditions, those trips did not constitute “a willful violation,” because she had received clearance from the counselor.
NewsNation with Tamron Hall, 1/10/14, 2:41 PM ET
Judge denies motion to revoke Marissa Alexander's bond
“This is a situation that has occurred because of a mistake. Simply that and nothing more,” Daniel said as he announced the decision.
Prosecutors from the state attorney’s office argued that Alexander should have known that the trips were inappropriate, adding that additional violations, which led a judge to revoke her bond during her first trial, proved that Alexander lacked proper judgment. “The evidence shows you can’t rely on her,” Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said.
“How many second chances before they’re not second chances anymore?” Mantei continued.
While Alexander has been given a second chance by the judge, she likely won’t be leaving her home for errands going forward. “No one has the discretion to authorize the defendant to leave under any circumstances,” Daniel said in his decision.
Alexander will remain in home detention as she awaits retrial as the state attorney’s office attempts to secure a new conviction for aggravated assault for Alexander’s decision to fire what she described as a warning shot at her abusive husband during an argument that occurred in 2010.
No one was injured by the bullet, but a jury found Alexander guilty of multiple counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in 2012, which required a 20-year sentence under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws for gun convictions. Alexander’s conviction was overturned in September when Judge Daniel ordered a retrial on the grounds that the jury instructions had been erroneous in her first trial.
Her new trial is scheduled for March 31.
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