Jacksonville, FL - A second Stand Your Ground hearing for Marissa Alexander has been denied.
Alexander is facing trial for shooting what she calls a warning shot in the vicinity of her estranged husband and his two children. She was denied Stand Your Ground immunity ahead of her first trial and ultimately convicted, but that conviction was overturned because of improper jury instructions.
Ahead of her second trial, her legal team petitioned for a new Stand Your Ground hearing. Among their arguments for the new hearing was that new evidence had come up since the first hearing and that Florida had expanded self-defense protections on warning shots.
Judge James Daniel says, fundamentally, the “law of the case” is unchanged. He says appellate court did not disagree with the initial decision not to grant Alexander Stand Your Ground immunity. The court further declined to again examine the facts of the case. As a result, Daniel says it’s generally out of his jurisdiction to make a significant change on the facts of the case that have been accepted.
Alexander claims that new evidence would have altered the decision, including that one of the children had recanted their testimony and that Alexander’s estranged husband had previous specific incidents of domestic violence. Judge Daniel says that doesn’t change the “material facts of the case”, because Rico Gray’s criminal history was well documented in the trial and the recanted testimony brought an immediate appeal from Alexander’s attorney, which was denied. Alexander further said they had located a more credible expert on battered women’s syndrome, but Daniel says that is considered “newly discovered” evidence.
Finally, Daniel had delayed issuing this ruling until it was clear whether Florida’s lawmakers and the Governor would pass a new self-defense bill in to law. While he agrees that some of the changes under the law clarify the statutes at question, he says it is not retroactive and, therefore, should not be applied in Alexander’s case.
Alexander has another hearing scheduled for next month.