Chrishaun McDonald, Dean Schmitz's accused killer, allegedly reacted to transgender slur

Categories: Homicide Files
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Chrishaun McDonald was charged last week with stabbing Dean Schmitz to death near the Schooner Tavern in south Minneapolis, and now there may be a clue as to why.

Although 23-year-old McDonald is being charged as a man, he's transgender, and he got into a fight with 47-year-old Schmitz, who taunted McDonald about his looks.

He said, " 'Did you think you were going to rape somebody in those girl clothes?'" Latavia Taylor, McDonald's roommate, told the Star Tribune. Some racial epithets may have been tossed around too.

Police haven't confirmed the Strib's reporting.

The brawl started early in the morning of June 6. By the time police and medics arrived at the scene, they found Schmitz down in the street, and couldn't save him. McDonald was arrested that night; he claimed Schmitz ran into a pair of scissors.

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2011 Minneapolis Homicides:

Krissy Bates, 45, was strangled, stabbed, and beaten to death on January 11 in her apartment at 1302 Linden Ave. Arnold Darwin Waukazo, her boyfriend, has been charged with murdering Bates, who was transgender.

Stanley Curtis Rogers, 58, was shot dead on the night of January 21 in what police describe as a robbery gone bad in an alley behind 3656 Clinton Ave. S. Ladell James Antone Johnson, 18, has been charged with his murder.

Jeremee Jon Kraskey, 32, died of multiple gunshot wounds early Saturday morning, February 26. Police found his body in the back yard of a home at 3520 14th Ave. S. near Powderhorn Park.

Stephanie Smith, 21, was shot and killed the night of March 28 as she was riding in a car on Park Avenue South with another man. Someone opened fire from another vehicle, and then sped away. There have been no arrests yet in the case.

Benjamin Van Handel, 23, a U of M student out late with friends in Dinkytown, was intentionally run over early in the morning on April 15. He died of his injuries April 21. Timothy Ayman Bakdash, 29, is charged with his murder.

Tomika Swoope, 19, was shot on April 25 in a suspected drive-by on Columbus Avenue South, near her home. Witnesses think she was mistaken for being a gang member. She died April 28 at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Keontrell Govan, 18, died the day after he was found shot in the alley behind the Church of St. Bridget in north Minneapolis on May 4. Ishmael Rashad Moore and Dashaunta D'Mar Gomez, both 17, have been charged with second degree murder in the case.

Kristopher Miller, 27, a popular staffer at North High School, was found shot dead in front of his home on May 11. Derrick Griffin, an associate pastor at the North Side's True Vine Missionary Baptist Church, has been charged with the murder

Edward Trondell Baker, 24, was shot early in the morning on May 24 in the 5700 block of Sander Avenue, just a few blocks north of Highway 62 and the perimeter of Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. He died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Guled Hashi Mohamed, 25, was shot late the night of May 29 while sitting in his car outside a restaurant on Nicollet Avenue South at Groveland Avenue. He died two days later. Biyamin Beiti Omar, 28 has been charged with his murder.

Dean Schmitz, 47, was stabbed to death early in the morning of June 5 near the intersection of 29th Street East and 27th Avenue South. Chrishaun Reed McDonald, 23, has been charged with second-degree murder in the case.



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24 comments
Sarah Prentice
Sarah Prentice

Citypages, threatening remarks made by a group of violent attackers against an individual isn't motive for a murder, it's cause for a just self defense.

Zariafoxx
Zariafoxx

Wow. The human race. Back and forth we go. Hate being fueld by different points of view. Both parties were wrong and got what was coming to them. Simple as that.

Sticks and Stones
Sticks and Stones

Serious, if somebody is making fun of you, you do not have the right to stab them.

What I find amazing is that Chrishaun was on SSI for 'gender based' issues and was receiving taxpayer supported hormone therapy. No wonder we are going broke. Here he is, with enough energy / time / money to be out clubbing and the general public gets stuck with paying to grow him boobs.

Jay Mackerl
Jay Mackerl

Transgender woman cites self-defense in altercationadvocates point to disproportionate incarceration oftransgender women of color Press conference to be held tomorrow - Tuesday, June 28th at 10amAt the Hennepin County Government Center in Downtown Minneapolis300 South 6th Street, Minneapolisin the north court yard

contact: Katie Burgess                  Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network                  transyouthsupportnetwork@gmail.com                  (612) 363-7574 Minneapolis, MN –Early on the morning of June 5th, outside the Schooner Tavern on Lake Street, Chrishaun McDonald was verbally assaulted with racial slurs, sexual harassment, and transphobic and sexist attacks. When a larger brawl ensued, Ms. McDonald was hit in the face with a bottle. Her attacker ended up dead, and Ms. McDonald was taken to jail where she remains in solitary confinement. She has been charged with second degree murder. Ms. McDonald maintains her innocence, citing self-defense: “They were the ones who attacked us. It was evil what they called us.”

Ms. McDonald is a transgender woman. In the weeks since June 5th, media coverage and prosecutors have consistently referred to Ms. McDonald with incorrect (male) pronouns.  Because Ms. McDonald is being held in a gender-segregated jail, the potential for abuse and mistreatment is high. In a phone interview from jail, Ms. McDonald described the treatment she’s receiving in solitary confinement: “They’ve got me in the hole, and they're not giving me proper healthcare.”

According to Katie Burgess, Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network and a friend of Ms. McDonald’s, “Chrishaun McDonald’s case is a tragedy, but unfortunately it’s not a rarity. Transgender women of color face disproportionate levels of violence and harassment, and are pulled into prisons and jails at extremely high rates. Over 30% of trans women of color are incarcerated every year. Once in prison or jail, 38% are harassed, 15% are physically assaulted, and 7% are sexually assaulted. These violent abuses are enacted upon them by guards and fellow prisoners. Although none of us knows all the details about what happened on June 5th, we do know that the deck is stacked against Ms. McDonald, and we ask concerned community members to support her in her trial.”

Friends who have spoken with Ms. McDonald say she remains hopeful and committed to fighting for justice in her case. But she has deep concerns that because she is a transgender woman of color she is unlikely to receive a fair trial with a jury of her peers, especially because she doesn’t have the funds to hire her own legal counsel. When asked about her trial, Ms. McDonald said, “Everybody should just be treated like human beings, no matter who they are.”

 

Billy Navarro Jr
Billy Navarro Jr

Transgenderwoman cites self-defense in altercation

advocates pointto disproportionate incarceration of

transgenderwomen of color

 

Press conference to be held tomorrow - Tuesday, June 28th at 10am

At the Hennepin County Government Center in Downtown Minneapolis

300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis

in the north court yard

contact:Katie Burgess

                 Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network

                 transyouthsupportnetwork@gmail.com

                 (612) 363-7574

 

Minneapolis, MN –Earlyon the morning of June 5th, outside the Schooner Tavern on Lake Street, ChrishaunMcDonald was verbally assaulted with racial slurs, sexual harassment, andtransphobic and sexist attacks. When a larger brawl ensued, Ms. McDonaldwas hit in the face with a bottle. Her attacker ended up dead, and Ms. McDonaldwas taken to jail where she remains in solitary confinement. She has beencharged with second degree murder. Ms. McDonald maintains her innocence, citingself-defense: “They were the ones who attacked us. It was evil what they calledus.”

Ms. McDonald is atransgender woman. In the weeks since June 5th, media coverage andprosecutors have consistently referred to Ms. McDonald with incorrect (male)pronouns.  Because Ms. McDonald is beingheld in a gender-segregated jail, the potential for abuse and mistreatment ishigh. In a phone interview from jail, Ms. McDonald described the treatmentshe’s receiving in solitary confinement: “They’ve got me in the hole, andthey're not giving me proper healthcare.”

According to KatieBurgess, Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network and a friend ofMs. McDonald’s, “Chrishaun McDonald’s case is a tragedy, but unfortunately it’snot a rarity. Transgender women of color face disproportionate levels ofviolence and harassment, and are pulled into prisons and jails at extremelyhigh rates. Over 30% of trans women of color are incarcerated everyyear. Once in prison or jail, 38% are harassed, 15% are physically assaulted,and 7% are sexually assaulted. These violent abuses are enacted upon them by guardsand fellow prisoners. Although none of us knows all the details about whathappened on June 5th, we do know that the deck is stacked against Ms.McDonald, and we ask concerned community members to support her in her trial.”

Friends who havespoken with Ms. McDonald say she remains hopeful and committed to fighting forjustice in her case. But she has deep concerns that because she is atransgender woman of color she is unlikely to receive a fair trial with a juryof her peers, especially because she doesn’t have the funds to hire her ownlegal counsel. When asked about her trial, Ms. McDonald said, “Everybody shouldjust be treated like human beings, no matter who they are.”

-- Katie BurgessExecutive DirectorTrans Youth Support Network (TYSN)P.O. Box 7625 (mailing)3405 Chicago Avenue South (office)Minneapolis, MN 55407 612-363-7574 cell

To learn more about TYSN, visit:http://www.transyouthsupportne...

Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing work:PayPal

Pgokey
Pgokey

It's not acceptable for the City Pages to use the male pronouns in referring to Chrishaun.  Gravely disappointed.

disappointed reader
disappointed reader

What kind of journalist/editor would allow a story to be published that uses the wrong pronouns for the main subject???????????? Using masculine pronouns for Chrishaun McDonald, a WOMAN, is exactly the kind of symbolic violence that perpetuates and supports the very transphobic violence McDonald experienced in this incident.Shame on you, citypages.

Jdc
Jdc

Are you kidding me?  Funny how his/her roommate can make a comment about it being a racial or gender specific comment when Dean is no longer around to confirm or deny it.  I didn't know that murder was "accepted" in the State of Minnesota if someone calls you a name. Be careful out there and don't show any road rage because apparently someone can kill members of your family and get away with it these days.  Please -- give me a break -- AND he is in protective custody?  Why -- if someone says something to him in jail he could just kill them as well and use that excuse again.  Love our world these days.

Who is Ceelo
Who is Ceelo

Until someone confesses to killing Dean Schmitz, Chrishaun McDonald is going away for a long time. Clearly her friends are no friends at all.  I think people forget this is a murder investigation.

Katie Berger Tremaine
Katie Berger Tremaine

If someone is attacking you with a weapon - in this case, a beer bottle - you have the right and ability to defend yourself with equal force. In this case, the attacker got what he deserved. SHE deserves to go free because SHE did nothing wrong, other than protect her own life, which thank Goddess is still permitted in this state.

Freya_Kahlo
Freya_Kahlo

Thank you for providing the facts of this case where CIty Pages failed. I'm saddened that there are violent racist bigots hanging out in this area of South Minneapolis, which is very diverse. It's bad for the community. It's sad that someone died, and clear to me  that the violent attitudes of racism/transphobia are really what's to blame. I can't fathom why racists want to hang out in the heart of a diverse community and harass people passing by.As a white woman and former long-time resident of S. Mpls, I stand with CeCe McDonald.http://supportcece.wordpress.com/

Larryboucher1
Larryboucher1

To Jay Mackerl Mr, Mc Donald now the shoe is on the other foot.When asked about  his trial, he said, ''Everybody should just be terated like human beings,no matter who they are".Is this how you treated Dean Schmitz"?  You murdered him with a pair of sissors.Yes"everybody stick your fellow man whenever you can", according to Mr, Mc Donald. Mr Donald confused gender benders like you", belong locked up in a cage.I can only pray you get what you have coming.

Check Yourself
Check Yourself

Jfc, are you kidding me? First of all, CeCe is a trans-woman. Stop using male pronouns, it's incredibly disrespectful and ignorant (I'm also looking at you, Denburg). Secondly, CeCe did not instigate the violence. She was called a number of horrible slurs, stood up for herself by stating the the names were racist/transphobic/misogynistic, and then was attacked for daring to speak up instead of silently accept the verbal abuse. This is was a hate-crime. Period. CeCe's survival depended on her fighting back, so the death was the result of self-defense. If CeCe was a white, cis-gendered woman, there would be outrage over her being imprisoned for defending herself. Shitheads like you that think that this is okay is what makes cases like CeCe's so fraking horrible.

Rayne Williams
Rayne Williams

You are an ignorant son of a bitch how dare you talk about things you have no clue about.... for you info Transwomen (male to female) are ridiculed whereever we go and yet we are supposed to turn the other cheek we get pushed and beaten and raped because we are who and what we are. Many of us only want to live our lives in peace and it's idiots like Dean and yourself that make it nearly impossible for us.... My family dislikes me, I can't find a job, got kicked out of comsmetology school... All because I am a transexual it's bull shit... I'm not sayin he deserved to die but the moral of this case is be careful what you say because you never know who you fuckin wit... And remember we all have the right to live our lives free of bigotry

Larryboucher1
Larryboucher1

To Katie berger tremaine the confused gender bender.according to police reports Dean Schmitz was not the one who hit MR, Mc Donald in the face with a beer bottle. It was a another women in Dean Schmitz party.Yes another women something your NOT. And if your going to lie and say Dean ran into a pair of sissors. Well what kind creditblty would the rest of MR, Mc, donalds story to police be like.Like the big lie he,s been living his whole life;So pull your gender bender head out of your gender bender friends ASS.An take a look at whos alive and whos dead. An whos family lost a dad; In stead of your gender bender ways.                   

Larryboucher1
Larryboucher1

Rayne Williams you dumb bitch.WE all have the right to live our lifes free of bigotry so go out and stab somebody. You want to flaunt your self out in public. My dad and brother fought for this country". So you can go out and be transexual .If you can,t take the heat keep your ass off the street". A lot of transexuals like to showcase them selfs you get what you deserve when can,t handle your emotion.An murder someone over words.

Larryboucher1
Larryboucher1

just think its okay to carry kinfe or any other sharp object around and if any one says anything to you.That you don,t like because your transgender bender, stick them.Because you think its a hate crime what have we become.

jdc
jdc

You make a CHOICE in being who you are...  We live in what is to be a country where freedom of CHOICE is protected by MEN like my son in law.  He gives you that freedom and puts HIS life on the line.  How DARE you use your life experiences to justify the taking of another mans life while his children are left behind.  We all have issues to deal with in life and if you can't handle the heat -- don't flaunt it in public.  But regardless -- you nor anyone else has the right to take a life over words that may have come out of someones mouth.  Funny how that statement is being made by one of Chrishaun's friends but the story on this end is completly different and Dean is now in the ground paying for someone elses stupidity.  I hope he rots in prision and is raped and beaten for many years to come. 

Larryboucher1
Larryboucher1

sapient my dad was in world war two I was not even born yet.So at that time he could not bring me up. Get your facts stright even though your not. who aproched who in this conflict dumb ass it was was Mr, mc donald And his fag friends with weopons.

Guest
Guest

Actually, it seems from your comments that it's rather people like you that should actually "be in a cage" ! ~ What a bigoted ASS !

Guest
Guest

It's a real shame this world is still populated with the likes of such hate-filled bigoted a**holes. From the attitude of your comment "Larry" I'm sure you would be the sort to be friends with Schmitz & "glass-lady" friend. Probably would have sat there and edged him on with the insult slurs, laughs and fight.   Also, read all the damned facts before spewing off hate-filled bigoted crap like you just did. (Apparently it was some one else altogether who killed the retard bigot with the big mouth after all and not actually MS. McDonald). Though it does still seem that it was "Schmitz & Co'" who instigated the fight. (and got what was coming !) Also, what damned business is it of yours what people chose to dress in public, (regardless of gender or orientation) !It's people with attitudes like yours that make this world a hell pit to live in. While your dad was off fighting for the country I see he also neglected to bring you up correctly.

Michelle Galipeau
Michelle Galipeau

You absolutely have no grasp here, son. There was a second weapon (indeed, a knife) recovered and more than enough evidence that someone else maimed Mr. Schmitz, causing his death. Ms. McDonald has also claimed that she was incapacitated by the blow to the face and really has no idea how Dean Schmitz died, and that his death was an unfortunate result of a brawl.

Also, people like me, my friends,  and my brothers and stepdad help to keep this continent in line, and they don't like this case one bit. Before that, both my pop's parents fought the Nazis. Trans folks are part of the human landscape and it makes the entire armed community look like a bunch of asshats when overzealous prosecution occurs in this fashion. 

Sapient
Sapient

You ignorant ass ! Being transgender is NOT a "choice" !!! ~ Who would "chose" to be harassed, insulted and attacked for the majority of the days of their life, by the (unfortunate !) majority of society, just for expressing & being who they were born !?  (And which is quite frankly no one else's business in the first place !)  ... And yes, when it comes to being attacked first with shards of glass to the face, which is far more than just flung insults, that more than warrants whatever one has at their dispose (sharp or otherwise) in their defense. ... From what I can see he (i.e. Schmitz) was the instigator of his own fate. ~ And it seems, for his unprovoked attack on Ms. McDonald, this time "G*d" just passed his own quick judgment. (And probably no less than he deserved, IMO ! ~ NO ONE deserves an unprovoked attack !) ~ Hopefully this will make someone who next wants to go flinging off insults and beer bottles, nowhere that it's his business to, to think twice before doing so. 'Lest he encounters the same swift fate ! ~ If only every bigoted ass was struck with the same fate for their transgressions, this world would be a far better & more pleasant place to live in !!!

~ I heartily wish Ms. McDonald all the very best ! ~ And hope she does, (against all the unfortunate probable odds), encounter a FAIR trial !  ~ (Anyone who wishes for anything less, is probably just a "bigoted asswipe" themselves !)

oration
oration

What this article fails to point out is that the man who attacked Ms. McDonald smashed her in the face like a beer bottle. She was acting in self-defense.

None of us know the specifics of this case. We don't know what transpired that night. Chrishaun is unlikely to get a chance at a fair trial based on her status as a transgender woman and a woman of color. Moreover, she is being housed in a men's prison, and statistically, the abuse rate suffered by trans women in men's prisons is staggering.

Being transgender is not a choice. For you to say that you hope this woman "rots in prison and is raped and beaten for many years to come" shows an incredible bias and that you believe that she doesn't deserve a fair trial in the first place.

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