“I never put my hands on Marissa Alexander,” said 36-year-old Rico Gray, accompanied by his 12-year-old son when he spoke with the media Wednesday at the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville.
Gray explained how the events unfolded in the August 2010 shooting and its mandatory sentencing Friday that have drawn national attention since the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.
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.
Listen: Rico Gray’s second 911 call
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.
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.
Gray has been arrested twice in Duval County on domestic abuse charges, one resulting in a conviction and a sentence of probation. Alexander also had filed an injunction for protection against Gray.
They filed for a divorce last month.