MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A movement is underway to stop the retrial of a Twin Cities mother of six.
A jury convicted Natalie Pollard of murdering her boyfriend in St. Paul three years ago.
She called the stabbing self-defense, and the state appeals court reversed her conviction.
Her retrial is set for just ten days from now. Because a court reversed her conviction on a technicality, Ramsey County’s attorney has the authority to try her again.
But Pollard has a group of supporters who want to see this all go away.
Lawyer and activist Nekima Levy-Pounds is just one of hundreds of women rallying behind Pollard.
“Natalie Pollard was a victim of domestic violence,” Levy-Pounds said. “What Natalie needed was support and help to get out of the situation that she was in, and the system that failed her,” Levy-Pounds said.
Pollard was convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing her boyfriend in the chest.
According to court records, Obinna Nwankpa was intoxicated when he broke into her St. Paul home in July of 2015.
She claimed self-defense when she stabbed him once in the chest. He later died at a hospital.
Nwankpa had a history of domestic violence in two different states.
“Natalie did not have a criminal history. As a matter of fact, she actually called the police at least three times on her abuser prior to him being killed in July of 2015,” Levy-Pounds said.
Natalie was pregnant at the time. She gave birth inside the women’s prison in Shakopee before the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed her conviction.
By law, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has the right to re-try Pollard.
“It makes absolutely no sense for him to be prosecuted, especially by John Choi’s office, given all of the situations that have unfolded in which community members have raised concerns about his overall failure to hold police officers accountable when they harm citizens,” Levy-Pounds said.
“Justice for Natalie” is the social media push to bring attention to her case. The people who support her are calling on others to speak out and speak up for Pollard.
Her supporters say they are flooding Choi’s office with calls for him to not take her back to court.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s office says it cannot comment about an active case.
Pollard spent more than two years in prison before her conviction was reversed.
If convicted again, she could face 20 more years behind bars.
Pollard’s supporters say that is just not right for a mother of six who was protecting her family, and herself, from an abuser.