Marissa Alexander

A Tallahassee woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her estranged husband will get a new trial, Yahoo news reports.

A Florida state of appeals ruled Marissa Alexander is entitled to a new trial “because the judge failed to properly instruct the jury regarding her claim of self-defense,” Yahoo News reports.

Alexander, 32, told police she fired the “warning shot” during an argument with her estranged husband who arrived at her home to pick up their son.

Alexander was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon because children were present in the home when the weapon was discharged.

Florida’s mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines called for Marissa to serve at least 20 years in prison.

Alexander claimed self defense even though her estranged husband Rico Gray was unarmed. Alexander’s case made headlines after George Zimmerman cited Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute in his claims of self defense for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012.

From Yahoo News:

Under the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, people fearing for their lives can use deadly force without having to retreat from a confrontation, even when it is possible.

A slightly built woman who stands 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 meter), Alexander said her 245-pound (111 kg) husband Rico Gray, was moving toward her threateningly when she fired into a kitchen wall. He had previously been convicted on a domestic violence charge for attacking her.

Gray’s two children were at home, in the living room. Prosecutors said the shot endangered Gray and the children.

Protesters point toward the Courthouse Annex building as they listened to speakers calling for the r …
Alexander filed a “Stand Your Ground” claim, but a judge ruled against her because Alexander chose to go back into the house with her gun.

A jury took just 12 minutes to find her guilty of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

At the time, Alexander had an active restraining order against her husband and she carried a concealed weapons permit.

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