Man Charged With Murder of Muhlaysia Booker, 2 Others: Police

Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 33, held without bond in the Collin County Jail

What to Know

  • Dallas police arrested Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 33, on June 5 and charged him with three counts of murder, including that of Muhlaysia Booker.
  • Booker is the transgender woman whose assault in April was captured on video and went viral. Police flagged it as a possible hate crime.
  • Police said Lyles was also a person of interest in connection to the death of a second transgender woman.

Police have arrested a man and charged him with three counts murder, including that of transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker, Dallas police Maj. Max Geron said Wednesday.

Geron said police arrested 33-year-old Kendrell Lavar Lyles after their investigation linked him to a deadly shooting May 22 on McCallum Boulevard. Lyles was being held without bond in the Collin County Jail in McKinney. He has no attorney yet to speak for him.

The June 5 arrest came after tips from the public led police to Lyles as the suspect in the deaths of two women in the Collin County section of North Dallas, Geron said. Authorities haven't disclosed the names of those victims, but Geron said the women murdered on May 22 and 23 were not transgender.

Further investigation led authorities to the Booker slaying southeast of downtown Dallas. Detectives found that Lyles' car matched the description of the one witnesses reported seeing Booker enter on May 18, the night she was later found dead, Geron told reporters.

Dallas police hold a press conference on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 to announce they have charged a man with three murders, including that of Muhlaysia Booker.

"We don't know the motive at this point. We know that the meeting for one (Collin County) murder was, according to the witness, to engage in a drug transaction. The reason for the shooting is still unknown at this point," Geron said.

Lyles also is being investigated in connection with the death of 26-year-old transgender woman Chynal Lindsey, whose body was found June 1 in White Rock Lake in Dallas, Geron said.

Lindsey's cousin, Tamaya Lindsey, said she wanted justice.

"If he is the person that took my cousin's life, and the other people, he needs to suffer to the fullest extent of the law," Lindsey said. "I don't want to keep walking down the street or driving somewhere and say, 'Is this the last place my cousin was? Or is this the person?' or hear on the news again that somebody else was murdered because they were different."

Even before Lindsey was found dead, police officials had said they were investigating a possible connection between the shooting deaths of Booker and another transgender woman, 29-year-old Brittany White, as well as the nonfatal stabbing of a third transgender woman.

Detectives continue to investigate the White slaying last October, Geron said.

Booker's death came a month after a cellphone video showed her being brutally beaten in a separate incident. Police have said that no evidence was found to link Booker's death to her April 12 beating following a minor traffic accident.

According to a police affidavit, the other driver involved in the accident had a gun and refused to let Booker leave until she paid for the damage to his vehicle. A crowd gathered and someone offered a man $200 to beat the woman. Other men also struck her, while one stomped on her head. Booker suffered a concussion, fractured wrist and other injuries, police said.

Video of the attack, which was shared on social media, showed Booker being beaten as the crowd hollered and watched. Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested and jailed on an aggravated assault charge.

Thomas' attorneys have issued a statement saying Thomas wasn't involved in Booker's death and sending condolences to her family.

NBC 5's Chris Blake and Candace Sweat and The Associated Press writer Terry Wallace contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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