Four people gave victim impact statements on Thursday, Nov. 9, bringing Kendrell Lyles’ trial for murdering Muhlaysia Booker to a close. On Monday, Lyles pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 48 years in prison.
After Lyles was led into the courtroom handcuffed, Booker’s mother, Stephanie Houston, took the standm explaining how her daughter’s murder had caused her to sink into depression.
“People judged my baby,” she said. “My treasure. You broke me. You’ve done so much to hurt my family.”
She said she warned her daughter about “the devil” then described the heartless murder. Lyles shot Booker three times, dumped her body in the middle of the street and then threw a used condom on her.
“I pray your days are miserable,” Houston told Lyles, fighting back tears.
Then Houston thanked the city of Dallas: “They honored my baby,” she said. “I love her. I miss her every day. Keep resting in peace.”
Muhlaysia’s sister spoke next, and she was angry. “I want to ask you why you did it,” she said. But she got no answer; Lyles was looking in a different direction.
When she realized the man convicted of her sister’s murder had no regret or remorse for what he had done, she ended her short statement saying, “I hope your days in jail are living hell, you bastard.”
A friend, who spoke next, began by placing a picture of Muhlaysia on the stand. “Muhlaysia was an amazing individual,” he began. “An assault propelled her to be a speaker in the LGBT community.”
His next comments were directed at Lyles: “You thought she had no one who cared about her,” he said, but again, Lyles just looked off. “Trans lives matter,” the friend told the court.
The fourth speaker , describing herself herself as Booker’s “oldest auntie,” began her statement with “Mr Lyles, you cant even look at me. You enjoyed what you did.”
She said she had woken up wondering what she was going to say to him, but he wasn’t listening. So she ended with her hope for him: “I hope you can’t sleep at night and die over and over and over again,” she said. “I hope Muhlaysia will get the justice she deserves.”
After the last person to speak stepped down from the stand, Lyles was quickly led out of the courtroom.
— David Taffet