Stand Your Ground ruling delayed in Marissa Alexander case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It will be at least next month before a major ruling comes down in the high-profile Marissa Alexander case.

Duval County Circuit Court Judge James Daniel heard several hours of arguments on Friday morning from Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei and criminal defense attorney Faith Gay.

Gay is attempting to get the court to allow her client to have a "Stand Your Ground" hearing. The controversial law grants immunity from prosecution if it is found a person used deadly force out of fear for their life.

Gay argued the court needs to consider Florida's new "warning shot bill," which is awaiting action from Governor Rick Scott.

The New York-based attorney also argued the court needs to consider new evidence, which she said includes recounted testimony from Alexander's estranged stepson and a domestic violence expert.

Mantei contended the new law cannot be applied to this case retroactively and that Gay's evidence is not "new enough" for it to be heard in court.

He also pointed the 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that another judge was correct in denying Alexander's previous attempt for a "Stand Your Ground" hearing.

However, that same ruling tossed out her conviction on the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Prosecutors contend the 33-year-old intended to shoot her estranged husband with his two children present.

Alexander's defense has maintained she was only firing a "warning shot" out of fear for her safety. She is currently out on bond and on home detention awaiting her retrial.

Daniel said he was not prepared to make a ruling on the latest "Stand Your Ground" request Friday. He said multiple times that this case is a "big legal knot" that must be untied.

Daniel did not appear that Alexander deserved a new hearing just because the state has an updated version of the law.

He set May 30 as the deadline for attorneys to submit additional arguments. The next scheduled status hearing in the case is June 10. Daniel could rule before or after that date.

Gay told First Coast News following the hearing she is prepared to successfully defend Alexander if her request is denied.

She said there is a provision in the old "Stand Your Ground" law that was not used during her client's first trial.

Related Stories:

Protestors: Free Marissa Alexander - Remove Angela Corey

Alexander's attorneys aim to use expert testimony

Warning shot bill passes Florida Senate floor


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