IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA CASE NO.

: 16-201O-CF-8579-AXXX-MA DIVISION: CR-G STATE OF FLORIDA, vs. MARRISSA DANIELLE ALEXANDER ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR DETERMINATION IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION AND MOTIONTO DISMISS OF

This matter came before this Court on the Defense "Motion for Determination ofImmunity from Prosecution and Motion to Dismiss", filed pursuant to sections 776.032(1) and 776.013(3) Florida Statutes on May 24'\ 2011. A hearing was held on the Defense Motion on July 1st and July 20t\ 2011. At the hearing, the Defense presented testimony from Marissa Alexander,( the Defendant a thirty-one year old black female, who is approximately five foot two inches in height and weighs approximately one hundred and forty pounds) , (The alleged victim and the

defendant's husband who is a thirty-seven year old black male, who is approximately five foot five inches and weighs approximately two hundred and forty-five pounds), r : the alleged

(Defendant's ten year old daughter), Helen Jenkins (Defendant's mother) victim's sister-in-law), '. (mother to'

, )and the sworn deposition on {son

:taken on November 22,2011).

The state presented the testimony of , I

to the alleged victim and step son ofthe defendantj. step son of the defendant).

(son to the alleged victim and the

After careful consideration of the evidence and witness testimony presented, and having considered the arguments and authorities presented by the parties, and having otherwise been fully advised, this Court fmds as follows: The Defendant is charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. It is further stated in the information that Defendant possessed and discharged a firearm during the commission of the underlying offense. Pursuant to sections 776.012, 776.013 and 776.032 of the Florida Statutes, a person is justified in the use of force and can even use deadly force against another individual if that person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend him or herself. The Defense requested an evidentiary hearing to determine if Marissa Alexander was immune from prosecution under these statutes in what has come to be known as the "Stand Your Ground" defense. In the Defense Motion, and at the evidentiary hearing the Defense requested that this Court prohibit the State from further prosecution in this matter and dismiss all three counts charged in the Information because the Defendant is immune from prosecution for the charged crimes.

I.

Standard of Review
The burden of proof is on the defendant to establish her entitlement to immunity at a

hearing on a petition for statutory immunity from prosecution for justified use of force. McDaniel v. State, 24 So. 3d 654 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). The trial court must weigh the credibility of the witnesses and evidence and make findings of fact on a substantial, competent basis. Peterson v. State, 983 So. 2d 27 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008), rehearing denied; Hom v. State, 17 So. 3d 836 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009), rehearing denied. Then, the trial court must determine whether the

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defendant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the requested immunity should attach. Peterson v. State, 983 So. 2d at 27. II. Facts of the Instant Case The Defendant and
<

had known each other for approximately three years and had battered her in the

were married on May 14,2010. The Defendant testified that

past, including in September of 2009 causing injuries to her head and back. Thereafter, she obtained an injunction for protection which was in effect on the date at issue. ( prior conviction for domestic battery.) On August 1, 2010, the Defendant shot at or near and has a

~. The Defendant had not been living in the marital home for the two months leading up to the shooting. On the evening of July 31,2010, the Defendant drove herself to the marital home and parked in the garage, closing the garage door after parking her vehicle. The Defendant stayed the night in the marital home. The next morning, on August 1, 2010, arrived at the marital home with his two sons __ the children entered the home through the garage door. and nothing went awry. After breakfast, the Defendant went into the master bedroom. Before entering the bathroom, the Defendant handed her phone to . newborn baby
t, 1

and

and made the family breakfast

to show him pictures of their

who was still in the hospital. At that point, the Defendant went into the looked through the phone. While going through the phone,

master bathroom while

r. observed texts from the Defendant to her ex-husband Lincoln Alexander prompting . to question whether the newborn baby was his. At this point, . 3

Sr. opened the bathroom door to confront the Defendant regarding the texts. A verbal argument ensued between the Defendant and"
-"'-.,t

For this reason, "

stepped out of

the bathroom and yelled for his sons to put their shoes on because they were leaving. Sr. returned to the bathroom and demanded that the Defendant explain the texts and the verbal argument continued. During the verbal argument: . stood in the doorway to the moved from the

bathroom and the Defendant could not get around him. Either doorway or the Defendant pushed around him to exit the bathroom.

-noved to the living room where his children were. Subsequently, the Defendant emerged from the master bedroom and went into the garage where her car was parked. The Defendant testified she was trying to leave the residence but could not get the garage door to open. (The Court notes that despite the Defendant's claim she was in fear for her life at that point and trying to get away from i she did not leave the house through the back or front

doors which were unobstructed. Additionally, the garage door had worked previously and there was no evidence presented to support her claim.) The Defendant then retrieved her firearm from the glove box of the vehicle. The Defendant returned to the kitchen with the firearm in her hand and pointed it in the direction of all three Victims. Defendant shot at put his hands in the air. The

, nearly missing his head. The bullet traveled through the kitchen

wall and into the ceiling in the living room. The Victims fled the residence and immediately called 911. The Defendant stayed in the marital horne and at no point called 911. The Defendant was arrested on the date of the incident. The Defendant posted bail prior to arraignment and was ordered by the Court and signed a document through Pretrial Services stating she was to have no contact with the Victims in the

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instant case. However, the Defendant continued to have contact with the Victims in this case, more specifically with Y
i

Prior to

's deposition, the Defendant and

. discussed what he should say Shortly after _ house where his two children.

at deposition.
new

s deposition, the Defendant drove to 1

were staying (not the Defendant's ., causing injury to

home). While there, the Defendant physically attacked face. Again,.

immediately called 911 after the incident and the

Defendant did not. The Defendant was arrested on new charges and her bond was revoked.

IV.

Findings
There is insufficient evidence that the Defendant reasonably believed deadly force was

needed to prevent death or great bodily harm to herself, another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. During the date in question, the Defendant alleged that while in the bathroom pushed her, and the bathroom door hit her in the leg when it swung open. Per the Defendant's own testimony, she did not suffer serious bodily injury as a result of the altercation that took place in the bathroom. Further, after exited the master bedroom, the

Defendant intentionally passed by the Victims and entered the garage where she immediately armed herself and proceeded back into the home. This is inconsistent with a person who is in genuine fear for his or her life. After weighing the credibility of all witnesses and other evidence, this Court finds that the Defendant has not proved by a preponderance of the evidence that she was justified in using deadly force in defense of self. Hence, the Defendant has not met her burden of establishing her right to immunity as a matter of fact or law. Peterson v. State, 983 So. 2d at 27.

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Based on the above, it is: ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Defendant's Motion for Determination of Immunity from Prosecution and Motion to Dismiss are DENIED.

J

Jl

)-i

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, on this
day of August, 2011.

Copies to: Office of the State Attorney Christen Elizabeth Luikart Division: CR-G Attorney for the Defendant Kevin Cobbin 525 N. Newman Street Jacksonville, FL 32202