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It took nearly a year’s worth of violent physical abuse before Marissa Alexander decided to stand her ground against her husband.

On Aug. 1, 2010, her husband cornered her in their Jacksonville, Fla., home. Alexander said she ran to the garage to escape, but the garage door was jammed, so Alexander grabbed a pistol. Her husband, Rico Gray, 36, saw the gun and threatened to kill her, Alexander would later say in court documents.

Fearing for her life, she raised the pistol above her head and squeezed the trigger, the crackle of gunfire pelting the kitchen ceiling.

While the shooting may have gotten Alexander out of one jam, it put her in another.

UPDATE: Prosecutor Angela Corey lashes out at critics of Marissa Alexander prosecution

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