How Prosecutors Punish Undeserving People With Plea Deals

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Obinna Nwankpa was a violent man. Specifically, he was violent toward women.

In 2011, he was convicted of domestic violence in Illinois. In December 2014, Nwankpa was charged with domestic violence against another woman in Anoka County, Minnesota. Two months later he plead guilty to interfering with a 911 call; he was given two years probation and ordered to get domestic abuse counseling and treatment.

Then, on July 2, 2015, just months after his latest domestic violence arrest, a third woman, Natalie Pollard, this time in St. Paul, Minnesota, called 911 to report that Nwankpa had broken into her home through a window. According to local press, Nwankpa was intoxicated at the time. He had been dating Pollard on and off for months. This was not her first time calling the police on him, but her fourth.

It would be the last.

Natalie Pollard, with four young children upstairs in the home, said that Nwankpa began beating and fighting her all over the house. She was pregnant and decided this time, she later told investigators, to grab a knife to protect herself. In the melee, she claimed she stabbed the man in self-defense. By the time police got there, he was bloody and breathing his last breaths. In that moment, and every moment since, Natalie Pollard, then a 32-year-old woman with no criminal record, expressed remorse, but said she did only what she felt she had to in order to protect herself.

Pollard said she did only what she felt she had to in order to protect herself. It’s imminently believable.

It’s imminently believable. Over a four-year period, Nwankpa was accused of physically abusing at least three different women in two states.

The post How Prosecutors Punish Undeserving People With Plea Deals appeared first on The Intercept.

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