Woman Accused of Murder Acquitted on the ‘You Do You’ Defense

Cheryl Panowski, who was accused of murdering her boyfriend last May, has officially been acquitted under the state of Maryland’s controversial “You Do You” law.


The law stipulates that if a defendant committed a crime out of “just needing to be real for a second,” the case should be thrown out immediately.


Panowski’s defense team invoked You Do You, arguing that “stabbing her boyfriend 17 times and parading his head on a curtain rod down Main Street for several hours on a Wednesday afternoon was just what she needed to get through the day.”


The defense team also claimed that Panowski was “marching to the beat of her own drum.” Phrases like “YOLO” and “treat yo’self” came up several times in Panowski’s testimony.


“Cheryl was following her dreams, and that’s beautiful,” says defense attorney Mark Rickles in a statement Monday. “And more importantly, the legal system fully supports her doing her.”



“At first it all seemed really cut and dry. There was the signed statement by Cheryl, stating that she did it, and the three HD cameras that recorded the whole thing,” said one juror after the verdict was announced. “But at a certain point we all realized she was just doing her thing and being true to herself. In this case, the law is very clear.”


Judge Wilson Fitzpatrick, the judge presiding over the case, added, “When it comes to ‘doing you’ who are we, the state, to judge?”


Cheryl isn’t the first person in the state of Maryland to get off on the “YDY” defense this year. Jenna Tamblin made bail earlier this month after kidnapping her neighbor’s dog for “some much-needed cuddle time,” and teacher Lisa Reynolds received an acquittal after sleeping with one of her underage students. Ms. Reynolds was noted as saying, “I know everyone will agree with me on this – I just really needed to take a day to feel beautiful and just do me.”


A juror for the trial was quoted as saying, “Preach.”