(ABC NEWS) - Thirty-three-year-old Marissa Alexander of Florida is “grateful” that she will likely not have to serve 20 years in prison after reportedly firing a warning shot at her allegedly abusive husband, whom she thought was about to attack her.
Alexander stood trial for firing a warning shot against her husband on Aug. 1, 2010.
Alexander testified that her then-husband, Rico Gray Sr., questioned her fidelity and the paternity of her 1-week-old child. She claimed that he broke through a bathroom door that she had locked and grabbed her by the neck. She said she tried to push past him but he shoved her into the door, prompting a struggle.
Afterwards, Alexander claimed that she ran to the garage and tried to leave but was unable to open the garage door, so she retrieved a gun, which she legally owned.
Once inside, she claimed, her husband saw the gun and charged at her “in a rage” saying, “I’ll kill you.” She said she raised the gun and fired a warning shot into the air to scare him off, rather than hurt him.
The jury rejected Alexander’s claims of self-defense, and said the “Stand Your Ground” law didn’t apply to her because she had not been harmed in the struggle.
Alexander’s sentence sparked outrage across the nation, with many claiming racial bias, particularly in the wake of George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict, which happened around the same time.
Her lawyer appealed, and won her a new trial late last year.
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed new guidelines into law Friday, inspired by Alexander’s case, ABC News reported. The law allows Florida residents who threaten to use a gun or who fire a warning shot to protect themselves the chance to avoid criminal prosecution.
"We are of course grateful for the governor’s actions," read a statement from Alexander’s legal team.