Rico Gray, the alleged victim in the Marissa Alexander case, did not take the stand in a pretrial hearing, but his history of volatile relationships was the center of the lengthy hearing. Marissa Alexander is accused of trying to kill Gray in 2010. Alexander claims that she shot a warning shot in self-defense. She was previously convicted and controversially sentenced to a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison despite the fact that no one was injured. An appeals court overturned her conviction due to improper jury instructions. The retrial is set for December 1st. The case has gained national attention in part because of stand your ground, mandatory minimums, and Alexander’s claims of self-defense in a domestic abuse situation. She now faces 60 years in prison despite the fact that no one was injured.
Witnesses at the hearing included 3 women with whom Gray has children, as well as two sisters-in-law, who all accused Gray of physical intimidation and abuse.
“I know what he’s capable of. He will attack if he’s brought to that point,” Shartrecia Anderson testified. She told the court that on at least one occasion Gray became so enraged that he stabbed himself with a fork and then blamed the injury on her when police arrived. He also instructed his children to lie to police and back up his version.
In Alexander’s case, one of the children came forward and admitted to lying to police for his father. Gray claims that he was not attacking Alexander at the time. Alexander says that Gray had her backed into the bathroom and she feared for her life. She was able to flee to the garage, but couldn’t get out, so she grabbed a gun and fired a warning shot.
Prosecutors countered her testimony, by showing the court that in Anderson’s deposition she said Gray never abused her. She told the court that she lied. Gray’s former wife Dashanna McGriff also alleged abuse, including being hit with a gun, having her nose broken, and being locked in a closet for several hours.
Circuit Judge James Daniels has not decided whether Gray’s prior behavior is relevant to the case.