An incarcerated transgender woman whose case received national media attention over the past several years is now set be to released next week -- over a year before her initially scheduled release date.
CeCe McDonald was sentenced in May 2012 to spend 41 months in a men's prison facility, despite identifying as female, for the death of Dean Schmitz in June of 2011. McDonald was walking past a local bar on the night of Schmitz's death when she allegedly became the subject of racist, transphobic and violent language that evolved into an altercation with Schmitz and other bar patrons. After the group allegedly hurled a glass at McDonald's face, she claims she attempted to defended herself with a pair of scissors, resulting in Schmitz's death.
McDonald is the subject of an upcoming documentary by "Orange Is The New Black" breakout star and transgender activist Laverne Cox, titled "Free CeCe." The film will primarily consist of Cox's interview with McDonald in prison and explore the events surrounding what happened to her on that night in 2011, as well as her experiences being incarcerated in a men's prison.
McDonald is slated to be released at some point next week.
At this time there is no further information about her early release. A statement published on the blog "Demand Fair Justice for CeCe McDonald" notes:
The rumors are true: CeCe is scheduled to be released from prison in January. She will wait and write a public statement about her release after she gets out of prison, because she wants to tell you all in her own words and own time. She would like to spend her first days out in privacy, with people she feels close to. Again, information about her release will be shared when CeCe feels it is the right time to do so. In the meantime, she and her support committee ask everyone to be patient.