Forget Race: Would Marissa Alexander be in Prison if She was a Man who Acted in Fear?

Imagine if you will, a husband and wife having an argument. Like many couples have in the past, their argument centers on the possibility of infidelity, and the fathering of another child out of wedlock. Now imagine if husband in this scenario was in fact the accused cheater, and was being questioned by his wife about text messages to his ex-wife which includes a discussion of leaving his wife. Now put yourself in the shoes of the wife in this scenario, surely you’d be pretty upset, right?

Now let’s say after the wife accuses said husband about his possible infidelity, mister accused cheating husband gets pissed because of the accusation and leaves the room only to return with a gun, stand and put a bullet in the chamber, and fires at his wife while two of her children are standing with her. Given that scenario, would you say that said husband deserves to be in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon? Yeah I know, this all sounds like a scene from a movie or an episode of “(I Almost) Got Away With It,” on your cable. However, this is exactly what occurred in real life on August 10th, 2010 and the shooter was not the husband, but instead, Marissa Alexander who is currently serving a 20 year sentence for firing what she continues to claim as a warning shot at her husband Rico Gray after he accused her of cheating with her ex-husband, Lincoln Alexander.

We’ve all heard Marissa’s account, but here’s what Gray had to say in speaking to In an article by Charles Broward, Gray contends that contrary to belief it was Marissa’s violent nature that lead to the shooting, and not the image of him cast as an abusive wife beater. Speaking at the State Attorney’s office in Jacksonville, Gray explained his account of how the event which landed his wife in prison unfolded. Since there are always three sides to a story, let’s hear his:

He said it was Alexander, 31, who first began punching him after he confronted her about some text messages she had sent to her ex-husband.

Gray said he put his hands up in defense “buying time” for his two sons to gather their belongings so he could take them and leave. But when he made the remark that their newborn baby must be fathered by her ex-husband, he said she immediately stopped.

“She said, ‘I got something for your — —,’ and walked away,” Gray said. “I knew exactly what she was going to do.”

Gray said she went to the garage, to her truck, to get her gun and then returned back inside the home. He said the garage door that she claimed was inoperable worked for him earlier that morning and later that day with no trouble.

“When she came back inside, the first thing I saw was her putting one [a bullet] in the chamber,” he said.

Gray said by the time his kids had come to his side to leave, she had the gun pointed at him.

“As soon as I took my eyes off Marissa, that’s when I heard the gunshot,” Gray said.

He said he never looked back, grabbing the children and running out of the house and down the street.

[…] Gray said he lied during an initial deposition when he said he had been the aggressor because the couple had settled their differences and gotten back together. He said he didn’t want to see his wife go to prison.

It was after Alexander assaulted him again less than five months later that he decided to no longer support her. She pleaded no contest to domestic battery in that incident and was sentenced to time served. (source)

Now given Gray’s account, can you honestly say that there’d be all this uproar and calls for action like the national day of protest on behalf of Marissa on June 24th, if she was a man? No seriously, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this. Of course I understand it’s hard to imagine a woman being abusive towards her husband or even aggressive in that regard. Yes, and given that Marissa’s story as told by herself and her supporters has made Gray out to be Ike Turner on steroids and bath salts, It’s hard for most to see her as the aggressor in this instance; heck, women never lie.

Listen to Rico Gray Sr.’s 911 recording: