St. Paul man pleads guilty in connection with assault of transgender woman in February

A St. Paul man has entered a guilty plea in connection with an assault and robbery at the Lake Street light rail station on Feb. 27.

Court records show Kevin Dewayne York, 23, took a plea deal that’s expected to allow him to avoid prison time.

As part of the agreement, he pleaded guilty to a third-degree assault charge in exchange for an expected sentence of 120 days at the county’s workhouse, a stayed prison sentence and the dismissal of a robbery charge.

York was initially charged with one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of third-degree assault, according to the criminal complaint.

Court records show York and his co-defendant, Keaten Morris, were charged in connection with the assault and robbery in March.

RELATED: 2 men accused of beating transgender woman at Minneapolis light rail station

According to a criminal complaint, the assault happened at around 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 27 at the Lake Street Blue Line station. A 911 caller advised dispatch that a woman was badly hurt and lying on the ground.

When Minneapolis police arrived, they found the victim bruised and bleeding with bumps on her forehead and a serious injury to the back of her head, the complaint states. She said, “They hit me,” and otherwise struggled to put coherent sentences together. She was taken to the hospital, where a CT scan showed she had suffered a broken rib and internal bleeding in her head. She was listed in critical but stable condition at the time.

Surveillance footage showed three suspects beating the woman, pushing her down the stairs and continuing to assault her, the complaint states. Two of those suspects boarded a southbound train and exited at the VA Medical Center Station, where police met them and took them into custody.

York told police the victim was “slashing at people,” possibly with a box cutter, according to the complaint.

The complaint states police were concerned the attack was the result of anti-transgender bias. At the time of the guilty plea, the defendant’s charges were not listed as bias-motivated crimes.

York’s sentencing is scheduled for July 19.