Minneapolis transgender woman released from prison


A high-profile Minneapolis transgender woman who spent about 19 months in prison for the killing of a man who she said had picked a fight with her has been been released from a St. Cloud correctional facility.

CeCe McDonald had been sentenced to 41 months but was released Monday, a Department of Correction document says.

McDonald's case galvanized LGBT community members who have faced harassment and hostility, Michael Friedman, directer of the Legal Rights Center in St. Paul, which represented McDonald, told MPR News.

McDonald's story is to be chronicled in a documentary called "Free CeCe" produced by Laverne Cox, a transgender actress in the Neflix series "Orange is the New Black." (More about the project here.)

Cox has been a vocal opponent of McDonald's imprisonment and was there to meet McDonald Sunday when she was released, Huffington Post reports.

McDonald was sentenced in 2012 for the stabbing death of Dean Schmitz. McDonald had said a group of friends had been walking near a Minneapolis bar late at night in June 2011 when another group shouted racist and homophobic comments. TruTV examined the details of the case further in June 2013.

McDonald had initially denied the stabbing, but later testified that she was assaulted and that she stabbed Schmitz with scissors in self-defense. McDonald took a deal that allowed her to be convicted of manslaughter and not murder, but her advocates maintained she had been the victim.

A video posted to YouTube captures a moment of McDonald's release.

Next Up

rochester school board meeting mask

Ban for those who don't wear masks at Rochester School Board meetings

The board will have people trespassed, which comes with a one year ban from all school property.

Target store snow

Target to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for 2021 holiday season

The Minnesota retailer has seen its business surge during the pandemic.

Darren McWright Osborne - Dunn County WI - crop

Father of man accused in quadruple slaying now charged

The victims were found dead in an SUV that had been abandoned in a Wisconsin cornfield.

michaels brooklyn center

Brooklyn Center PD, Michaels discriminated against Black teen, state finds

The boy had gone to apply for a job. Instead a manager called 911 and he was arrested.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 10.49.10 AM

Minneapolis rock band raising money to replace trailer of stolen equipment

A GoFundMe has reached around $2,200 of its $18,500 goal as of Thursday morning.

Eagan indecent exposure police release sept 23 2021

Police looking for man suspected of exposing himself at Twin Cities park

The department is asking for the public's help identifying the individual.

denfeld high school - duluth

Police investigating after 2 altercations at Duluth high school

The first altercation among several students led to a lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

Jalen Suggs

Jalen Suggs says Gophers could've had him if they recruited him harder

Suggs was a dominant high school athlete at Minnehaha Academy.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 8.05.45 AM

Family of man killed in Maplewood fundraising reward money to find suspect

The GoFundMe was initially set up to pay for funeral expenses for Devinn Madley.


21-year-old dies in single-vehicle rollover crash in Becker County

The crash happened around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22.