Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Marissa Alexander's Ex-Husband Testifies In Hearing; No Ruling Reached


Attorneys for Marissa Alexander will have to wait a little longer to find out if testimony on her estranged husband’s troubled past relationships will be allowed in trial.

Rico Gray told defense attorneys Monday he had no recollection of ever hitting or threatening any of his past spouses.

But Alexander’s attorneys those argued those relationships were marred by abuse and lies.

“He had a pattern of using law enforcement to hide his own brutalization of his domestic partners,” Defense Attorney Faith Gay said.

Earlier this month, Alexander’s defense brought several motions before the judge including a motion to include Gray’s history of domestic violence in the new trial.

Alexander is charged with firing off a gun during an argument with Gray in 2010. She claimed she was acting in self-defense, but a jury disagreed.

In 2012, she was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison, but an appeals court eventually overturned it. She is scheduled for a retrial in December.

Alexander’s motion hearing began Oct. 8 with testimony from Gray’s ex-wife and two ex-girlfriends who each alleged that Gray physically abused them on multiple occasions.

But Monday, Gray testified that he didn’t remember any of it. He also told attorneys he did not recall sending threatening text messages, as one ex-girlfriend had claimed.

“What I’m saying is I didn’t send those text messages,” he told defense attorney Bruce Zimet after being shown several messages.

Gray also told attorneys he lied in a previous deposition about abusing the women in order to help Alexander stay out of prison.

“My testimony, today, is that it was not truthful,” he said.

Prosecutors argued that Gray’s past was irrelevant to the case because Alexander was not aware of Gray’s history of violence the night she shot off her gun.

“None of what we heard here was known to the defendant and none of this involved the defendant,” Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said.

Mantei also said the credibility of Gray's exes was questionable. Each woman had previously testified that Gray had not abused them, he noted.

While Circuit Judge James Daniel appeared to side with the prosecution at times, chiding the defense several for getting off focus, he stopped short of issuing a ruling. That decision is expected later this week.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

Rhema Thompson began her post at WJCT on a very cold day in January 2014 and left WJCT to join the team at The Florida Times Union in December 2014.