Texas police announced last week that they charged a man with the murder of a transgender woman who was filmed in April being attacked in an unrelated incident, which was being treated as a possible hate crime.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 33, who is currently jailed for two unrelated slayings of a man and woman (who aren’t transgender), was charged with the murder of Muhlaysia Booker, 22, who was reportedly found shot to death last month in Dallas. The Dallas Morning News reported that Lyles was also named a person of interest in the death of Chynal Lindsey, 26, whose body was pulled from White Rock Lake in late May.
Authorities alleged that Lyles was in possession of Booker’s cellphone after the murder. Citing an arrest affidavit, the Dallas Voice reported that a person driving in a Lincoln LS picked Booker up three hours before she was found dead.
Not only was the vehicle reportedly linked to Lyles but police ultimately located a car that matched the description of the one the slain woman was seen getting into, leading them to a witness who identified Lyles as the driver who picked Booker up. The witness also told police that Lyles frequented the area where Booker was last seen, according to the news outlet.
A search of Lyles’ phone records placed him “in the offense location (where Booker was picked up and where she was shot) at the time of the offense, as well as traveling in the same areas as the complainant’s phone after the offense,” the affidavit stated.
In April, several men were reportedly filmed assaulting Booker in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex after Booker accidentally backed into a vehicle and tried to leave the scene. A suspect allegedly ran Booker off the road and threatened her with a gun to get her to pay for the damages.
Citing an affidavit, BuzzFeed reported that someone paid Thomas $200 to beat Booker up following the minor traffic accident. The video was subsequently posted to Facebook, where it went viral. In it, several suspects are seen punching and kicking Booker while she was on the ground.
Dallas police have said there’s no indication that a man who was charged in connection with April’s attack, Edward Thomas, 29, had involvement with Booker’s murder.
CBS News reported that police are investigating whether there’s a link between Booker’s slaying, the shooting death of transgender woman Brittany White, 29, and the non-fatal shooting of another transgender woman. White was reportedly found dead approximately a half-mile from where Booker was killed.
Lyles remains jailed without bond.
[Featured image: Muhlaysia Booker/Facebook; Chynal Lindsey/Dallas Police Department]