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Man charged in murders of a black transgender woman and two others in Dallas

2019-06-16

Police have arrested a man in the death of Muhlaysia Booker, the transgender woman killed in Dallas in May.

A man was charged with murder in three recent killings in Dallas, Texas, including the murder of Muhlaysia Booker, a black transgender woman whose death made national headlines last month, police announced Wednesday.

Dallas Police Department major Max Geron said in a press conference that they arrested 34-year-old Kendrell Lavar Lyles in the murder of Booker, and a man and woman, both unnamed, in three separate cases.

He also was named a “person of interest” in the murder of another transgender woman, 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey.

On June 5, police arrested the suspect for the shooting death of a female, who’d been killed on May 22. A tip from a witness to another shooting in the same Dallas area led police to link Lyles to the killing of a man after a drug transaction altercation, on May 23.

During the course of the investigation of the two murders, detectives noticed that Lyles drove “the same type of car that is believed to have picked up Muhlaysia Booker on May 18,” adding that cell phone records showed that the suspect was around the area where Booker was last seen.

The arrest comes in the heels of a series of killings targeting transgender women of color in Dallas that have left the trans community in the city living in fear.

The body of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey was pulled from the White Rock Lake by Dallas Fire-Rescue around 5:30 p.m. on June 1, just days after the murder of Booker. Police have also recently identified a body that was found in a field in July, 2017, as Armani Dante Morgan, a black transgender woman. Last year, Brittany White, 29, was fatally shot in a parked car in Southeast Dallas.

The unsolved murders have prompted Dallas Police to request help from the FBI in the investigations, Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall said June 3.

“We are concerned, we are actively and aggressively investigating this case. And we have reached out to our federal partners to assist us in these efforts.”

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The death of Booker in May happened just weeks after she was the target of a vicious mob-like beating at a crowded parking area in an apartment complex south of downtown on broad daylight.

No motives for the killing have been given, according to the police.