Marissa Alexander Won’t Return To Jail; Judge Says Violations ‘Unwillful’

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A judge has ruled that Marissa Alexander can remain free on bond after the Florida State Attorney filed a motion claiming that the defendant violated her release conditions numerous times, The Florida Times-Union reports.

Circuit Court Judge James Daniel denied Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei‘s request to revoke Alexander’s bail for “going out shopping for clothes, driving family members to the hair shop and airport, getting a new driver’s license, visiting the bank and seeing a sister-in-law.”

Mantei’s stated to the judge that Alexander, 33, was on home detention while performing her errands. The conditions of her detention prohibit her from leaving her residence except for court appearances, medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of her pretrial services program. She has been free on bond since Thanksgiving after getting a new trial in her aggravated assault case for firing a warning shot during an altercation with her husband, Rico Gray.

Alexander’s lawyer, Bruce Zimet, countered the state’s argument by saying that all of his client’s actions were approved by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which angered Judge Daniel. Zimet said the court ordered Alexander to speak with Jacksonville authorities before making her trips, which they approved without checking with the judge. Since Alexander did not knowingly violate the bond, Judge Daniel saw fit to allow her to remain in home detention.

April Wilson, an 18-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was present for Friday’s hearing.Wilson approved all of Alexander’s trips, stating in her tearful testimony that her understanding of the court order would allow for these brief stops she made while under house arrest. After today’s hearing, however, it appears that both sides understand Judge Daniel’s orders and will move forward from there.

“I think it was handled how it needed to be handled. The judge is now aware and everybody else is now aware of what was going on. Things got brought out in the open that’s always a good thing,” said Mantei, as reported by Florida Times-Union.

Zimet responded with, “Marissa had advice she was told she could do what she did. You heard testimony in there she relied on what was represented to her.”

Alexander did not offer any comments before or following her hearing.

 

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