MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman who stabbed her boyfriend in St. Paul nearly three years ago and was potentially about to be retried in the case has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
Natalie Pollard had been convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing Obinna Nwankpa in the chest.
She claimed self-defense when she stabbed him once in July 2015; he later died at the hospital. According to court records, Nwankpa was intoxicated when he broke into her St. Paul home, and had a history of domestic violence in two different states.
Pollard was pregnant at the time. She gave birth inside the women’s prison in Shakopee before the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed her conviction on a technicality.
Pollard spent more than two years in prison before her conviction was reversed. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office recently said that they intended to retry the case.
In the meantime, many began rallying behind Pollard using the social media tag “Justice for Natalie,” including lawyer and recent Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds.
“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,” Levy-Pounds told WCCO’s Reg Chapman recently. “Natalie Pollard was a victim of domestic violence. What Natalie needed was support and help to get out of the situation that she was in, and the system that failed her.”
Pollard will be sentenced for her guilty plea to manslaughter May 7.