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.”
Report at Rawstory.com March 10, 2015