Man pleads guilty to murder of transgender woman in Dallas just before trial

A man whose murder trial was scheduled to begin Monday in the killing of a transgender woman in Dallas has pleaded guilty, the district attorney’s office told Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV.

Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 37, will be sentenced to 48 years in prison for the 2019 murder of 22-year-old Muhlaysia Booker.

Victim impact statements in the case will be heard on Thursday, WFAA reported.

Murder charges against Lyles are still pending in two other cases in Collin County, in the deaths of Leticia Grant, 35, and Kenneth Cichocki, 29.

Booker was found shot to death in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive in Dallas on May 18, 2019.

According to an arrest warrant, investigators said they believed that Booker got into Lyles’ car a few hours before she was found dead. A witness told police that Lyles had been to the area before to meet transgender sex workers, the warrant said.

Lyles’ attorney, Richard Franklin, told the Associated Press that the guilty plea “was the right result.” Franklin said he did not know the motive for the murder.

In a separate incident about a month earlier, Booker was brutally beaten when she was involved in a traffic crash near a Dallas apartment building. That attack was captured on video, which went viral.