A transgender woman who became a cause celebre for the LGBT community pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree manslaughter.
The plea agreement came just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the murder trial of Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald. McDonald was originally charged with the more serious charge of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Dean Schmitz of Richfield.
The case attracted support from national transgender activists, including Seattle University law professor Dean Spade.
"It's utterly outrageous to me that CeCe has spent any time locked in a cage for defending herself against a violent, horrific, transphobic, racist attack, and that she'll spend any more time is a disgrace," Spade said.
McDonald had argued that she acted in self-defense after a woman in Schmitz' group cut her face with a glass. But Hennepin County prosecutors said last week in court that McDonald's story was not credible.
Under the plea deal, McDonald will likely be sentenced to about three and a half years in prison.