04:39 - Source: CNN
'Stand your ground' didn't work for her

Story highlights

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully invoked Florida's 'stand your ground' law

She initially was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun inside her house

Her lawyer: "She wanted to get the case over with and get back to her family"

First conviction was overturned by an appeals court, deal gives her shorter sentence

CNN —  

A Florida woman who’d been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in a “stand your ground” case accepted a plea bargain Monday that greatly reduces her sentence.

The 20-year sentence came in a case in which the woman, a mother of three, said she was attempting to flee her husband on August 1, 2010, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall. Nobody was struck by the bullet.

After having the initial conviction overturned, Marissa Alexander was sentenced Monday to 65 days in jail on two counts of aggravated assault, with credit for time already served since her 2012 conviction. She will also serve two years under house arrest, and she agreed to wear a monitoring device.

She will be sentenced later on a third aggravated assault count.

“She was sitting in prison with a 20-year sentence,” one of her lawyers, Bruce Zimit, told CNN affiliate WJXT. “Bottom line, she’s going to be finishing the case with a three-year sentence plus whatever else the judge does at sentencing” on the third count.

Alexander said her husband had read cell phone text messages that she had written to her ex-husband, got angry and tried to strangle her.

Authorities said Alexander needed to be prosecuted because she fired in the direction of a room where children were standing.

One of the prosecutors said she offered Alexander a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence, but Alexander chose to take her chances at trial, where a conviction would bring an enhanced sentence for the use of a firearm.

A jury convicted her in Duval County and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Later an appeals court ordered a new trial because the trial judge mishandled instructions to the jury.

The case focused the spotlight on Florida’s “stand your ground” law after she unsuccessfully argued before her 2012 trial that she was immune to prosecution because of the law.

Zimit said Alexander took the plea deal because “She wanted to get the case over with and get back to her family.”