Woman Gets 20 Years for Firing Warning Shot
Florida's Marissa Alexander was fending off husband
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2012 5:42 PM CDT
A stock image of bullet holes.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Florida woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison today for firing what she says was a warning shot to scare away her attacking husband. In the intensely controversial case, Marissa Alexander claims she was fleeing from her abusive husband when she fired a gun into the wall of her home. After she rejected a plea deal and was convicted of aggravated assault, the judge was required by Florida's mandatory sentencing guidelines to hand down a 20-year punishment, reports CNN.

Alexander faced the charge of aggravated assault, in part, says the prosecutor, because she shot the gun in the direction of a room where two children were standing. That prosecutor, Angela Corey, is the same one in the Trayvon Martin case. She got an earful after the sentencing from an angry Rep. Corrine Brown. "There is no justification for 20 years," Brown told her. "All the community was asking for was mercy and justice." Alexander had tried to use Florida's 'stand your ground' law in her defense, but a different judge rejected it because Alexander had returned to the home at one point during the altercation. (She forgot her car keys when trying to flee.)