Florida Judge to Allow Prior Abuse Allegations in Marissa Alexander’s Retrial

Marissa Alexander   YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT
Marissa Alexander
YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT

Her defense team wants to hear testimony by two former girlfriends of her estranged husband in an effort to demonstrate a pattern of domestic abuse on his part.In a move that could bolster 34-year-old Marissa Alexander’s case, a judge ruled this week that evidence of prior alleged acts of domestic violence against other women by her estranged husband would be allowed at her December retrial, First Coast News reports.

Circuit Judge James Daniel on Wednesday stipulated certain conditions in the ruling, including requiring Alexander to testify about Rico Gray’s abusive treatment, the news service writes. Her testimony would set the stage for defense attorneys to call an ex-wife and two former girlfriends of Gray’s—all of whom say he was abusive and whom Gray previously admitted abusing, the report says.

The judge, however, expressed some concern about allowing the testimony and placed limits on it. He also limited the number of people who can testify to a specific act of abuse, First Coast says. He said that any testimony on prior abuse must be used to show a pattern of behavior, not simply to demonstrate bad character or propensity to violence, the report says.

The testimony could shore up Alexander’s case. She was convicted and sentenced in 2012 to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot during a confrontation with Gray. The conviction was overturned on appeal, reports say.

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Source: The Root | 

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