Category Archives: Exonerated Survivor

Exonerated Survivors of domestic violence / abuse

Cherelle Baldwin

Cherelle Baldwin was charged with the murder of her abusive ex-boyfriend.

Cherelle Baldwin, like many domestic abuse victims, loved her ex-boyfriend. Jeffrey Brown wasn’t all bad. He could be charming, loving and apologetic, despite a criminal record of selling guns, robbery and resisting arrest by his early 20s. They had a baby, a boy, before he moved in with another woman.

But it wasn’t over, at least for Brown. He used access to his son to repeatedly threaten Baldwin, taking her phone, credit cards and money. He beat her up in her home, causing Baldwin, who is eight inches shorter than Brown, to call the cops twice. After his last conviction in early May 2013 for breach of the peace, a reduced charge, Baldwin wanted to help him get anger management counseling. But the most she could do was get a court order barring more threats, harassment or assaults against her while he was visiting their son.

That order meant little, according to court records and Baldwin’s attorney. Days later, Brown abruptly showed up at Baldwin’s home as she was getting ready for work and took their 19-month-old from her, only returning him after she chased after Brown by driving on the wrong side of the road. Then his stalking increased.

That day, May 16, or two days before Brown died in a fight with Baldwin, he texted her 36 times. At first, he profusely apologized, but then he wanted her to give him money and to have sex. She tried to ignore him and replied that it was time to move on. The next day, he began texting again at 7:30am, and did not stop until after midnight when Brown texted that he was following her car. “I’m behind u lol [laugh out loud],” he wrote. On June 18, he started again at 6:36am, accusing her of lying. After 12 texts, she wrote, “Leave me alone!!!!” He replied, “N u will see how crazy shit will get today.”

When the police, firefighters and ambulances arrived two hours later, they found Brown crushed between Baldwin’s car and a cement wall at the end of the driveway. His hand clenched a two-inch-wide leather belt she told police he had used to whip her before she fled to the car. Below his body was her purse with her phone and credit cards. Baldwin was barefoot and in her night shirt on the ground beside the car, dazed and crying for her baby. She had a badly broken leg. The baby was in the house. Photos taken at a hospital afterward by her mother showed marks around her neck and streaks of raw skin across her back.

In February 2015, after a six-week trial, a jury voted 11-1 not to convict her. The state will retry the case.

News report June 11, 2013 “This is clearly a case of self-defense,” said Baldwin’s lawyer, Sam Kretzmer. “My client’s life was threatened.”

Featured Case #81 Full Story Here | Proposal Post | Featured Case Post | Facebook Page

Report at Rawstory.com March 10, 2015

Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex Goes Free After Almost 3 Years Behind Bars March 31, 2015

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Jessica Silva

“I JUST grabbed the knife…

“Just to kind of scare him. I wasn’t thinking I was going to use it.”

It is a day Jessica Silva tries desperately to forget.

But three years on she said it still feels like yesterday and she knows that only by talking about it will she finally be free.

“He really made me believe that he was coming to kill me.”

In an interview with 60 Minutes, the 27-year-old opened up about the day she stabbed to death her estranged partner James Polkinghorne, 28, in the street outside her family’s Marrickville home in Sydney’s inner west.

Ms Silva admits her character was broken by years of domestic abuse and she carries guilt and remorse for the way the events of Mother’s Day 2012 unfolded.

Report

Note:

A jury found her not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and a judge sentenced her to time already served.

Now her lawyer says she shouldn’t have been charged with anything and that he will seek a full acquittal in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

This is categorised as “exonerated”, even though technically there is no full acquittal yet.

Stacey Hyde

Featured Case #39 : Website | Proposal Post | News Article 1 | News Article 2 | Featured Case Post

Justice for Women ( who are advocating for Stacey ) | Facebook

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Retrial Wednesday April 15, 2015.

Report on retrial May 21, 2015.

Exonerated May 21, 2015 – BBC Breaking News

Report in Wells Journal

Justice for Women, who campaigned on behalf of Miss Hyde have slammed the prosecutor Christopher Quinlan QC for “aggressively pursuing” the prosecution in the face of what they described as: “overwhelming evidence that undermined his case for murder. In particular, at the appeal the adolescent psychiatrist instructed by the Crown was unable to support the prosecution and instead gave evidence for the defence.”

Quinlan vigorously opposed applications for bail following the successful appeal, and Miss Hyde remained in custody for a further six months awaiting trial.

A spokesman for Justice for Women said that despite evidence in support of self defence, Miss Hyde was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter. These detailed representations were rejected although the DPP refused to provide reasons for her decision.

Speaking after the verdict, Miss Hyde said: “I would like to say thank you to Justice for Women, my legal team, friends and family for believing in me and giving me hope and strength to never give up. I will be forever grateful and blessed to have been given my life back.”

Report in Guardian 21 May 2015

Outside the court, Hyde said on Thursday: “I would like to say thank you to Justice for Women, my legal team, friends and family for believing in me and giving me hope and strength to never give up. I will be for ever grateful and blessed to have been given my life back.”

Francis, 33, also from Wells, had a history of violence towards women. It was acknowledged by the prosecution that there had been 27 separate incidents of domestic violence between him and his girlfriend, Holly Banwell, and that he had also been violent towards his previous girlfriend.

Report in Guardian 11 June 2015 “There are many more who need their cases re-examined’

Letter from defense team published in Guardian 16 June 2015

Michelle Byrom

Featured Case #36 : Facebook page | Facebook Group | Proposal PostFeatured case post | Article

Mississippi had a self-serving confession from Edward Jr., implicating his mother and blaming Gillis for the murder. And they had a confession from Michelle Byrom herself, taken while she was heavily medicated, amid questions about her mental stability. What exactly did this confession sound like? The sheriff told the addled Byrom: “Listen, we are going to be able to pull enough together … don’t leave [Edward, Jr.] hanging out here to bite the big bullet.” To which Michelle Byrom, Edward Jr.’s mother, replied: “No, he’s not going to. I wouldn’t let him … I will take all the responsibility. I’ll do it.”

Conviction overturned on 31st March, 2014

Back in the custody of Tishomingo County 28th July, 2014

Retrial set for 1 Sep 2015 17th January, 2014

Almost executed by Mississippi, Michelle Byrom free 26 June, 2015

Almost Executed by Mississippi Michelle Byrom is Now Free 6 July. 2015 @ YouCouldBeWrong.wordpress.com

Interview, August 17, 2015

If you would like to help Michelle with medication, clothing, or personal items, you can visit herYouCaring site, which gives her 100% of the proceeds.

Debra Milke

Featured Case #7 : Facebook page | Proposal PostFeatured case post | Website | Twitter

Retrial date : 2 February, 2015 – Facebook Page for Retrial

Update : Charges dropped 11 December, 2014.

Prosecution appeal to Arizona Supreme Court denied 17 March, 2015.

Entry at National Registry of Exonerations March 2015.