Florida Mother: ‘I Could Have Been' Marissa Alexander
1 year ago
Domestic violence victim speaks out on behalf of woman who shares same abuser
The only real difference between Chartrissia Anderson’s story and Marissa Alexander’s story is the presence of a firearm in the latter.
Both of them are mothers in their thirties. Both have lived in Jacksonville, Fla. Both have had children with a man named Rico Gray. And both were victims of his abuse.
Anderson, whose daughter with Gray is now 9-years-old, knew nothing about the similarities she shared with Alexander until recently. She’s known Gray for 12 years.
“I knew that (Gray and Alexander) were together and they were married, but I never knew about the violence that took place within the relationship,” said Anderson, in an exclusive interview with Loop 21.
The 36-year-old says she only knew about the abuse she alleges she endured at Gray’s hands in 2006. Anderson says Gray punched her in the face for confronting him about his relationship with another woman with whom he has a child.
When she called the police, she learned of the lengths Gray might go to avoid trouble with the law.
“Once he realized that the call had went through, he went into the kitchen and pulled out a fork,” Anderson recalled. “His son was there…in the tub. (Gray) started stabbing himself in the arm with the fork. He told his son that when the police get here, tell them that I stabbed him.”
Loop 21 has yet to obtain a police report of the incident, but has tracked down a case docket, which confirms the date of the incident, Gray’s involvement, his guilty plea, and his having received probation.
Loop 21 also reached out to Gray, who has turned down requests for interviews without compensation.
Anderson said police did not believe Gray’s story, although they initially removed her from their home and placed her in the back of a squad car. Soon after the incident, a judge awarded her an order of “no contact” with him. She acknowledges later changing that order to a “non-violent” injunction. That allowed more seamless visitation with their daughter.
Years later, Anderson said Gray informed her about Alexander’s use of a gun against him in 2010.
“He called me and told me that she was arrested for shooting in the house,” Anderson said. “He just wanted to let me know before anybody else told me. He didn’t tell me why he wanted to let me know.”
Anderson says she was initially upset at the news of Alexander’s actions, but not because Gray had physically abused her. Anderson, again, knew nothing of his abusive history with Alexander.
“My initial thing was… I was upset because my child was supposed to be there that weekend,” Anderson said. “All I knew was that a gun was involved, it was shot and my child would have been in the house.”
“Certain things you just don’t do in the presence of a child,” Anderson added.
It was Anderson’s own research that allowed her to learn what really preceded Alexander’s 2010 incident. Through online county court records, Anderson discovered a 2009 incident with Alexander, in which Gray physically abused her, plead guilty to it and received probation for it.