What to Know
- Edward Thomas faces an aggravated assault charge after police say he was seen in a video beating Muhlaysia Booker at apartment complex.
- Booker suffered a broken wrist and several face fractures, according to her family. She was found fatally shot a month later.
The trial for the man accused of beating Muhlaysia Booker at an apartment complex is set to start this week. The beating, which was captured on video, took place in April, a month before her death.
Jury selection for the trial begins Tuesday with the first day of testimony expected on Wednesday in Dallas County.
Edward Thomas faces an aggravated assault charge.
Thomas is accused of beating 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker in an attack captured on cell phone video.
Monday, transgender activists gathered in front of the courthouse to call for a guilty verdict and expanded hate crime protections.
"We need to come together as one community because that is the only way that we are going to affect change and that is the only way that we are going to bring justice to all the trans women who are being attacked across the country," Stacey Monroe said.
According to an arrest warrant, on April 12 Booker was backing out of a parking space when she hit a car driven by another man named Jaguy Allison.
Allison told police that Booker tried to leave the scene of the crash.
Booker later told police at the hospital that Allison ran her off the road, pointed a gun at her and said she could not leave unless she paid for the damages to his car.
That is when people at the apartments began to gather, some recording video of Booker pacing back and forth.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Thomas, who is facing the charge in this week's trial, was standing with the crowd. Police said someone is heard on cell phone video telling Thomas that they would give him $200 to beat Booker.
In the video, women are seen carrying Booker to safety after two men punched and stomped on her.
Thomas is accused of repeatedly punching Booker while calling the transgender woman derogatory names, according to the arrest warrant. Thomas later admitted to his role in the beating, but denied calling her derogatory names, according to his arrest affidavit.
Police said in June that a second person stomped on Booker's head. Other people are heard hurling derogatory names at Booker, according to the arrest warrant.
"Everyone seen touching that girl needs to be nailed to the wall, but since he's the only one they're planning on talking to, he needs to get book thrown at him," activist Mieko Hicks said. "We’re here to make sure that happens."
Booker suffered a broken wrist and several face fractures, according to her family.
Booker was murdered about a month later in an unrelated crime involving a different suspect.
NBC 5's Diana Zoga contributed to this report.