On Thursday, a Connecticut jury found Cherelle Baldwin not guilty of murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown.
According to the Huffington Post, Baldwin collapsed to the floor in tears as the verdict was announced.
“My baby,” she cried. “My baby will have his mommy back.”
Baldwin, 24, was accused of killing her ex-boyfriend by hitting him with her car and pinning him against a cement wall. Baldwin says it was self-defense against Brown who was abusive towards her. However, the state didn’t believe her, charged her for murder and sent her prison for almost three years on a million dollar bond.
During the trial, Baldwin stressed that Brown was controlling and abusive during and after their relationship. Days before Brown’s death, he stalked and sent threatening messages to her. One of his texts said “DOA on sight.”
The night of his 2013 death, Baldwin says that Brown “broke into her house and strangled her with his belt in front of her young baby. She fled her house without shoes, glasses or her child, she said, and he followed her to her car, where he continued his assault on her,” the Huff Post wrote.
“Everything happened so quick,” she said. “All I could think about was the baby.”
This time around a jury believed her. Her first trial ended with a hung jury.
Miles Gerety, Baldwin’s defense attorney, said he’s never had a client who he cared about as much as Baldwin, the Huff Post noted. “When a battered woman steps out of the role of being a victim and defends herself, many in our society stop thinking she was battered,” he said. “I’m very happy.”
“You had her for three years,” said Cindy Long, Baldwin’s mother. “My daughter was innocent all along.”
Baldwin had the support of more than 40 domestic violence orgs, including Ultra Violet, who were calling for the DA’s office to drop the charges against her and when the verdict was read, many of these people were sitting in the courtroom.
But it’s also important to point out that Baldwin’s situation isn’t new or rare for women, especially women of color.
Supporters have set up a fundraising page help Baldwin rebuild her life after this life-altering experience.