Ruben Alvarado

After admitting on the stand that he strangled Chynal Lindsey after finding out that she was transgender, a Dallas County jury convicted Ruben Alvarado, 24, of first degree murder and sentenced him to 37 years in prison.

Lindsey’s body was found in White Rock Lake with a belt around her neck. She suffered other injuries as well.

Alvarado’s attorney changed the defense several times during the three-day trial.

When prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant’s phone was pinging off the same cell phone tower as the victim’s on the day of the murder, the defense argued that it didn’t prove they were together.

The defense switched to trans panic when Alvarado testified although the two had spoken previously, he panicked when he realized Lindsey was transgender. So he climbed on top of her and started punching her and finally took his belt off to strangle her. Then he dumped her body in the lake.

Defense was hoping for a conviction on a crime of sudden passion.

The prosecution was relentless in its description of the murder, telling the jury Alvarado threw Lindsey’s body away like trash.

In the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury was told he had a lousy childhood. Lousy childhood wasn’t enough for the jury, which returned its verdict quickly and then sentenced Alvarado to 37 years in prison.

Next week, the LGBTQ community remembers transgender people who have been murdered. Several events are taking place.

Meanwhile, Kendral Lyles is still awaiting trial for the murder of Muhlaysia Booker that took place just weeks before Lindsey was killed.

But a number of murders in Dallas and the Dallas area remain unsolved. In Arlington, police have little information about the murder of Kier Solomon in late September. The Dallas murders of Shade Schuler in 2015, Armani Morgan in 2017, Brittney White in 2018 and Tiffany Thomas and CoCo Chanel Wortham this year remain unsolved.

— David Taffet