by Subhash Kateel

Last week, we covered the story of Marissa Alexander, who
some people are dubbing the “reverse Trayvon.” 
If you haven’t heard, Marissa Alexander is the woman who faces 20 years
in prison for firing a warning shot to repel a husband that she claims abused
her (see the story here).  That warning shot neither killed
nor hurt anyone, but the mother of three still sits in a jail cell awaiting a
multi-decade sentence for aggravated assault. 
As one of the first to actually look at the court records, we pulled out
some damning quotes from her husband regarding the incident, and his history of
violence.

“…I just don’t know what would have happened. If my kids wouldn’t
have been there, I probably would have put my hands on her…I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one…Me, the way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on
eggshells around me.”
But since that time, a few things happened.  The court announced on Monday that sentencing
is being postponed and motions for a retrial will be heard.  But that didn’t
happen before Marissa’s husband, identified in the press as Rico Gray, decided to speak up, insisting that there is another side to the story.
“Marissa is not portraying herself as she is, I was begging
for my life while my kids were holding on to my side, the gun was pointed at
me.”
That is what he told the blog Politics365.  In court, he apparently claimed that he lied in the deposition (where he made those damning statements above), supposedly making the
whole thing up to protect Marissa.  He
also stated that he in fact, never “put his hands” on anyone, ever.
But the more Mr. Gray talks, the more his story doesn’t seem
to add up.
According to a “statement of facts” as outlined by Marissa’s
defense attorney in court (and not really disputed by the Prosecution):
  1. His sister-in-law testified that Mr. Gray did, in fact, have a “history
    of violence.”
  2. His son, who was supposed to be “holding on to” Mr. Gray’s
    side when Marissa fired the shot, testified that he did not see Marissa
    Alexander fire the gun, and only heard it.
  3. The mother of one of Rico Gray’s children testified in court
    that her son explained to her that “Ms. Alexander did not fire at us, but
    rather fired in the air because Dad was beating her.” 
 On top of that, court records suggest that Rico Gray plead
“no contest” in 2006 to domestic battery, and was sentenced to 1 year probation.
So which Rico Gray should we believe, the one that made his
significant others “walk on egg shells around him,” the one who claimed he
never hurt anybody and is the real victim, or the one that was put on
probation for a year on a domestic battery charge?
What is even more puzzling is that the Prosecutors office in
this case, led by Angela Corey (the same person prosecuting George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin), doesn’t seem to dispute that Marissa Alexander
was the victim of domestic violence by her husband, but that the violence only resulted in
“minor bruising” and never “resulted in serious bodily harm to her.”  No seriously, a brief by the prosecutor
really said that. 
To be clear, Rico Gray is not on trial here, Marissa
Alexander is, and may face a mandatory 20 years in prison.  But it should confuse most people that Marissa Alexander faces 20 times more time behind bars for hurting no one than her husband Rico Gray did for a conviction of actual domestic battery. 
We will keep covering this case, and actually reading the documents the press keeps forgetting to read.  In the mean time, if you would like to learn more about this case, you can always visit this blog.  If you happen to feel so moved as to take action, you can sign and share this Change.org petition.
And don’t forget to tune into our show every Wednesday at 7pm.