On Friday, April 27th, CeCe McDonald appeared in court for her final pre-trial hearing. Both the defense and the prosecution argued motions on which evidence could be admitted or not, whether or not to allow expert witnesses, and whether or not supporters can wear Free CeCe gear in court.
The prosecution motioned to prevent people in the courtroom from wearing any t-shirts, buttons or anything that shows support for CeCe in any way. The motion was granted. (This means that we cannot wear support wear during CeCe’s trial.)
The defense motioned to admit evidence that the deceased, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattoo on his chest and prior convictions for domestic assault. The prior convictions cannot be brought up in court and the judge will rule on the swastika tattoo by Monday morning.
The defense motioned to admit the criminal theft record of witnesses against CeCe. These motions were denied. Another motion to admit the convictions of one witness against CeCe for providing false information to the police and using a false name was granted. Notably, however, the prosecution motioned to admit into evidence that CeCe was convicted of writing a bad check to speak to her dishonesty as a witness. This motion was granted.
The defense motioned for the inclusion of an expert witness to speak to the deceased’s toxicology report to explain the potential effects of chemicals such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol in his system. The judge will allow the expert to testify about these chemicals and their effects in general.
The defense motioned for the inclusion of an expert witness on transgender issues to speak to the climate of violence perpetrated on the trans community and to educate jurors on trans issues. A full decision on this motion will happen on Monday, April 30th. These rulings are helping determine how CeCe’s trial will play out, so keep your eye on these announcements for the latest updates. Trial proceedings are still scheduled to begin on Monday, April 30th at 9am, although things won’t really be underway until Tuesday. So plan to start coming to court Tuesday, May 1st at 9am wearing purple in solidarity with CeCe!