Domestic violence

Connecticut woman on trial for killing alleged abuser

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A Connecticut woman standing trial on murder charges is expected to testify that she killed her ex-boyfriend in self-defense. The Huffington Post reports that Cherelle Baldwin, who has been awaiting her day in court for three years, told police that on the morning of May 18, 2013, Jeffrey Brown broke into her home and tried to strangle her with his belt. Baldwin says she escaped and ran into her car, but Brown managed to enter the vehicle and began attacking her once again. When police arrived on the scene, they found Brown crushed between Baldwin’s car and a garage wall. He died on the scene. Authorities wrote in an affidavit that they did not believe Baldwin was acting in self-defense, asserting she had “ample time to consider the actions she took before the events that caused and led to the death of Jeffrey Brown.”

The incident that ended in Brown’s death was, according to Baldwin, the last in a long line of abusive episodes. In 2013, she was granted a court order against Brown, but he allegedly continued to harass her with texts and phone calls, even coming to her house to demand access to their young son. Last week, 38 domestic violence groups urged state prosecutors to dismiss the case against Baldwin, citing her arrest as a prime example of the pervasive criminalization of domestic abuse victims. The United States government does not track the number of battered women who have been incarcerated after killing in self-defense. But a 2005 survey by the New York State Department of Correctional Services found that 67 percent of female inmates convicted of murdering someone they knew had been abused by the victim.

This week’s court proceedings mark the second time Baldwin will argue her case. The first trial resulted in a hung jury.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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