Dallas man arrested in deaths of transgender woman, 2 others

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Dallas police have arrested a 33-year-old man in the slayings of three women, including transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker.

Kendrell Lavar Lyles has been charged with three counts of murder. Dallas police day he was arrested June 5 based on tips linking him to two homicides in Collin County.

Authorities haven’t disclosed the names of those victims, but further investigation led them to the slaying of 23-year-old transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker last month.

Police say Lyles’ car matched the description of the one witnesses reported seeking Booker enter on May 18.

Booker was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound around 6:40 a.m. that morning, in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive.

“We don’t know the motive (for the slayings) 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 that this point,” Dallas police Maj. Max Geron said.

Booker’s death garnered national attention because it followed an assault on April 12 that was captured on video and went viral. The video was shared extensively on social media and Dallas police flagged it as a possible hate crime.

Dallas has experienced a string of recent killings and violent attacks on black transgender women. In addition to Booker, Chynal Lindsey, a 26-year-old black transgender woman who was found last week with “obvious signs of homicidal violence.”

Police say Lyles is a person of interest in that case.

He is being held without bond in the Collin County Jail in McKinney.

Dallas has seen such a recent spike in crime that Governor Greg Abbott said on June 7 he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to send officers to Dallas to help the city’s police respond.

The state agency will send troopers, special agents and communication specialists, among other resources, Abbott’s office said. The Texas Rangers will also be available to assist with homicide investigations.

“The Dallas Police Department is committed to doing all they can to crack down on criminal activity, and Texas will dedicate whatever resources are needed to help keep our communities safe,” Abbott said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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