BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut woman has been charged with murder after police said she ran down her ex-boyfriend with her car and crushed him against a cinder-block garage wall.
Cherelle Baldwin of Bridgeport was arraigned on a murder charge in state court in the death of 24-year-old Jeffrey Brown, the father of her toddler son. Baldwin, 21, was detained on $1 million bail. She was arrested Monday after a three-week investigation.
Baldwin's relatives defended her actions Tuesday, saying Brown choked her with a belt and she drove at him May 18 to try to save her life. Baldwin and Brown had a history of domestic violence and Baldwin, Baldwin's cousin told WFSB-TV.
Brown's family denied that he tried to choke her.
"My son never threatened to kill her," said Jeffrey Hines, the victim's father. "She took my only son away from me."
Baldwin's car traveled 100 feet before striking Brown, apparently accelerating the entire time and with no signs of braking, police said. The impact pushed the wall back more than 10 inches, police spokesman William Kaempffer told the Connecticut Post.
"Murder was the appropriate charge," he told WFSB.
Brown was pinned between the car and wall when police and firefighters arrived. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, police said. Baldwin suffered a leg injury when the car hit Brown and the wall, police said.
Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr. said it took a few weeks for authorities to determine that criminal charges were warranted.
"Work by the crime scene unit and accident investigators was key to getting to the truth," Gaudett said in a statement.
Police said they are treating the case as a domestic homicide.