They struggled. She ran out through the laundry room into the garage. But I knew she couldnt leave out of the garage because the garage door was locked. She came back, he said, with a gun, yelling at him to leave. I told her I aint leaving until you talk to me, I aint going nowhere, and so I started walking toward her and she shot in the air.
He added details. I start walking toward her, because she was telling me to leave the whole time and, you know, I was cursing and all that. His two sons by a previous marriage were in the room. If my kids wouldnt have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her. Probably hit her. I got five baby mommas and I put my hands on every last one of them, except for one.
I physically abused them. Emotionally. You know.
And then came what should have been the clincher: I honestly think she just didnt want me to put my hands on her anymore so she did what she feel like she have to do to make sure she wouldnt get hurt, you know. You know, she did what she had to do.
He said, The gun was never actually pointed at me. When she raised the gun down and raised it up, you know, the gun was never pointed at me. The fact is, you know . . . she never been violent toward me. I was always the one starting it. If she was violent toward me, it was because she was trying to get me up off her or stop me from doing.
Grays deposition might have read like a confession of a husband charged with domestic violence, but it was Marissa Alexander who was convicted in April after a Duval circuit judge rejected her Stand Your Ground defense. The judge decided that Alexander could have fled instead of running into the garage and fetching the pistol from her car. This is inconsistent with a person in genuine fear of his or her life, the judge ruled illustrating, if nothing else, that the effectiveness of the controversial self-defense statute varies wildly from one Florida circuit to the next.
Marissa fired the gun twice that day into the wall. No one was injured. But the State Attorneys Office said the reckless discharge of a firearm endangered the children. A jury (never told about the mandatory 20-year sentence) agreed. Circuit Judge James Daniel, handing down the verdict, noted that because of the state law, the sentencing decision has been entirely taken out of my hands.
Duval State Attorney Angela Corey, the same special prosecutor brought in by the governor to oversee the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, dismissed the growing protests against the disproportionate verdict. Corey noted that just a few days before her trial, Alexander had rejected a plea offer that would have sent her to prison for three years instead of 20.
But three years would still seem a harsh sentence for a woman whose crime was to use a firearm to fend off the likes of Rico Gray. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on egg shells around me. They never knew what I was thinking. What I might say . . . What I might do . . . I hit them. Push them.