Category Archives: Trial updates

What CeCe pled to: Court transcript from May 2

On May 2, CeCe McDonald pled guilty to a reduced charge of 2nd Degree Manslaughter. For more information on what CeCe pled to, see the court transcript from her hearing that day.

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald Accepts Plea Agreement to Reduced Manslaughter Charge

May 2, 2012

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald Accepts Plea Agreement to Reduced Manslaughter Charge
Racism, Transphobia in Legal System Continued Assault McDonald Survived, Supporters Charge

Contact: Katie Burgess, Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network,,
(612) 363-757 and Billy Navarro Jr, MN Transgender Health Coalition,,
(612) 823-1152

Minneapolis, MN – Earlier today, Ms. Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the second degree in the criminal case resulting from the racist, transphobic assault she survived last June that left one of her attackers dead. The prosecution had originally charged her with felony murder in the second degree. However, after entering into plea negotiations this morning, the defense and the prosecution settled on the reduced charge. McDonald will be sentenced on June 4th at 1:30pm under Hennepin County Judge Daniel Moreno to 41 months in prison. The executed sentence will be reduced by one third, for “good time” and credit for the time McDonald has served pending this resolution. Read the rest of this entry

05/02: CeCe pleads guilty to reduced charge

This afternoon, CeCe pled guilty to one count of manslaughter in the second degree due to negligence. She will be sentenced to 41 months on June 4, at 1:30 pm. Stay tuned for more details to follow.

5/1 Trial Update

The whole day in court was spent on the jury selection process. Literally the WHOLE DAY, nothing else happened. Court will resume at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, and jury selection is expected to conclude in the morning. Opening arguments will likely occur in the afternoon.

While that lacks excitement look at this picture that was just posted out of Manhattan. Thanks supporters, FREE CECE!

4/30 at the CeCe McDonald trial…

The first day of CeCe McDonald’s trial had national support from Mara Keisling, founding executive director of the National Center of Transgender  Equality, and Leslie Feinberg, renowned author of Stone Butch Blues, both of whom flew out to Minneapolis to attend today’s proceedings.

In court, the judge ruled on several remaining motions. The defense moved to exclude a photo of the t-shirt Dean Schmitz, the deceased, was wearing June 5th on the grounds that it could unfairly prejudice the jury. This motion was denied.

In the discussion of this motion, the prosecution stated no weapon had been recovered from the scene. They also acknowledged it remains unclear what the weapon which caused Schmitz’s wound was.

The defense continued with a motion to sequester, or isolate from the proceedings, two Hennepin County Witness Coordinators during the examination of the witnesses they had interviewed because they were also potential witnesses. This motion was granted.

The defense moved to allow other expert witness testimony on transgender issues. The judge will make a final decision about allowing expert witness testimony after further deliberation.

The defense moved to allow CeCe more than the one change of clothes generally permitted. This motion was granted. (Today she wore black skinny slacks with a magenta button-down, black and grey paisley sweater and absolutely superb grey pumps.)

We are not aware of a decision that has been made regarding whether Dean Schmitz’s swastika tattoo will be admitted as evidence during the trial.

Jury selection will begin Tuesday, May 1st.

Updates from April 27 hearing

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.) Read the rest of this entry