Baltimore | Crime | McDonald's | News | Transgender

Five Year Prison Sentence Handed Down for Brutal Attack on Transgender Woman at McDonald's: VIDEO

Teonna Monae Brown, 19, who pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis, 22 (pictured), was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, with five years suspended, plus three years of supervised probation. The maximum sentence for Brown's crimes is 35 years.

Polis Advocates were upset by the ruling, the Baltimore Sun reports:

"The whole incident is unfortunate and demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding, and discrimination against transgender people," said Patrick Wojahn, board president of the Equality Maryland Foundation. "If anything, five years may have been too short of an amount of time for the attack and the amount of hatred that was shown in the incident."

Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk agreed. "Five years is not enough for what she did. It was really horrible — nobody should do something like that to another human being," said Pena-Melnyk, who represents parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. She proposed legislation to prevent employers, creditors and others from discriminating against transgender people, but the measure failed in the 2011 General Assembly.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger was pleased with the sentence:

Shellenberger said that "it was very important that even though this defendant has no criminal record, that she receive substantial time in jail." He said the violence of the repeated assaults warranted it.

"I don't care who the victim is. This was not a political statement," he said.

Watch a news report on the sentencing and an interview with Shellenberger, AFTER THE JUMP...

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger discusses the sentence. He was pleased with it:


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. It's been a few months since I've seen that video, so what I don't know about it could fill a book. But aside from it being an unfortunate crime and definitely ignorant, that's a real prison sentence there it seems like longer than I would have thought.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 14, 2011 8:53:04 AM

  2. "I don't care who the victim is. This was not a political statement," he said.

    That pretty much sums it up. If you don't care who the victim is, then you're blind to the fact that it's a hate crime. IMO, she deserved a longer sentence.

    Posted by: johnny | Sep 14, 2011 9:12:33 AM

  3. The scumbag deserved a much, much, much longer sentence and why in the world would it have been a problem to make a political statement? That's what hate crimes are all about. They're a political statement that if you can't exercise enough control over your hate, you go to prison for even longer.

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 14, 2011 11:01:47 AM

  4. This sentence should represent some added prison time for being a hate crime; otherwise, hate crime laws lose their effectiveness. You have to compare this sentence with similar prosecutions in Baltimore County which were not hate crimes. Is anyone able to do that?

    Posted by: Artie | Sep 14, 2011 11:07:41 AM

  5. The sad truth is that five years of actual prison time is pretty lengthy for an assault conviction–any assault conviction–these days. You'd spend longer in jail for a non-violent drug arrest.

    When it comes to criminal justice, if it doesn't involve drugs, rape, or murder, we just don't care.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 14, 2011 11:48:37 AM

  6. Sadly, and as heinous as the attack was, prison will only harden an already maladjusted person as Ms. Brown has demonstrated herself to be.

    Posted by: Christophlorida | Sep 14, 2011 11:51:11 AM

  7. I don't see how 10 or 15 years for a 19 year old girl is going to somehow yield better results than a 5 year stay. And more or less, hate crime laws are unnecessary, they should be reserved for situations of intense malice and bigotry, like an organization going around and lynching people, not for regular attacks that are peppered with hate words.

    They were a nice idea but not a good one.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 14, 2011 12:09:51 PM

  8. The sad truth is: THIS WASN'T A HATE CRIME. Even the victim said so herself. I'm frankly shocked that she got sentenced to 5 years for a girlbrawl. How many videos are there on Youtube of fights JUST LIKE THIS where there aren't even any arrests. The only reason this made the news is because the victim is transgendered and gay groups wanted to pimp her out as a martyr. To which she released a video saying that attack had nothing to do with her being trans.

    I'm so over this story. Yea, the attackers are scum, but really? 5 years in jail? When she comes out she's gonna be WAY WORSE than she was before had they just left her off with some community service and anger management.

    Posted by: RafiD'Angelo | Sep 14, 2011 3:44:03 PM

  9. Was it even a hate crime? I got told the reason she attacked her was because she was flirting with her boyfriend. I'm just curious because any crime against a minority nowadays seems to be instantly branded a hate crime.

    Posted by: David | Sep 25, 2011 3:22:13 PM

Post a comment


« «Democrats Lose Specials for Weiner's Seat in NY, Ensign's Seat in NV« «