Family of trans woman Muhlaysia Booker confront murderer: ‘He has no soul’

The family of murdered transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker had the chance to confront her killer in court this week after he pleaded guilty.

Kendrell Lyles, 37, was sentenced to 48 years behind bars for the murder of Booker, who was shot and killed on a street in Dallas, Texas in 2019.

Lyles was originally scheduled to go on trial for the murder on Monday (13 November) but pleaded guilty before jury selection could begin.

As a result of his guilty plea, no testimony will be given as to why Lyles was with Booker on the night of her murder.

Photo of trans woman Muhlaysia Booker, who was attacked in a viral video clip.
Muhlaysia Booker was shot and killed in 2019. (CBS 11)

Following his sentencing, Lyles sat in court on Thursday (9 November) and heard emotional witness impact statements from Booker’s family

“Damn you! Nothing but hell is going to come to you,” said Booker’s mum Stephanie Houston, per Fox News.

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Another family member added: “I hope your days in jail are a living hell you b***ard.”

Booker was just 22 years old when she was found dead from a gunshot wound in East Dallas. Shortly after investigations began, police linked Lyles to her murder through cell phone records.

While investigating, it was discovered that Lyles was also a suspect in two other murder cases.

Trans woman Muhlaysia Booker beaten by mob last month shot dead in Dallas
Kendrell Lyles, 37, was sentenced to 48 years behind bars for the murder of Booker. (Facebook)

Booker’s mother continued: “It was finally just to look at the devil in his face. He has no soul, he has no feelings, he has no remorse.”

Another family member told him: “I hope every day of that 48 years that you live your life, I hope you remember over and over, I hope you can’t even sleep at night knowing you took away a valuable person.”

Although no motive has been established in public police records, Houston has suggested through her witness impact statement that Booker was targeted because of her gender identity and work.

“You just looked at her (Booker) as a transgender prostitute, but she was more than that,” Booker’s mum told Lyles on Thursday.

“I just pray that your days, they just be miserable. You need to suffer like my family has suffered.”

She later added: “I just want the girls to get off the street. In the Black community of trans, they do sex work to survive. I want them to know they can live long healthy lives.”

Muhlaysia Booker
No testimony will be given as to why Lyles was with Booker on the night of her murder.(Facebook)

Shortly before Booker was killed, a video of her being assaulted by a group of men had gone viral online. The incidents are not believed to be linked.

Following a car accident in April 2019, Booker was attacked by several men – footage of which was shared on social media.

Eventually, Booker was brought to the hospital and treated for her injuries, and Edward Thomas was later sentenced to 300 days in jail after being convicted of misdemeanor assault.

At a rally after the assault, Booker stood defiant and told supporters: “This time I can stand before you, whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”

Booker was remembered by friends as a “big, big personality” who stood proudly with her community and was never defined by what she had gone through.