Trial Set To Begin For Man Accused Of Brutally Beating Muhlaysia Booker
Booker was later murdered in a separate incident involving another suspect whose trial date has not yet been scheduled.
Edward Dominic Thomas will stand trial this week for allegedly attacking Muhlaysia Booker about a month before her death, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Thomas was charged with aggravated assault after police say he admitted to beating up Booker on April 12. Booker, a transgender woman, reportedly suffered a broken wrist and concussion from the attack.
Jury selection will begin Tuesday, and testimony is expected to start on Wednesday.
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Police said Thomas was with a group that was caught on video assaulting Booker on the ground, Blavity previously reported.
The 23-year-old at the time was ambushed after recently being involved in a minor car accident. Booker was surrounded by a group of people as a man in a white shirt struck and kicked her repeatedly. Other people in the group also appeared to punch Booker.
In the video, Thomas is allegedly seen putting on gloves before punching Booker several times.
She said she was called homophobic slurs while being beaten.
In an arrest warrant, police stated Thomas was offered $200 to beat Booker, the local outlet reported.
She was later found shot to death on May 18. After her death, Booker's father shared his thoughts.
"This don't need to happen to nobody else's kid, so we pray that everything comes out justifiable. We know the Lord works in mysterious ways," Pierre Booker said.
Members of Booker’s family say they are upset by a defense attorney’s request to use Booker’s birth name, Pierre, in court instead of her chosen name, Muhlaysia.
Blavity previously reported prosecutors wanted Booker to be identified as a woman. However, the defense for Thomas argued that if Booker is identified as a woman, bias against men hitting and/or abusing women will heavily influence the jury.
A judge later agreed with prosecutors to identify Booker as a woman in court and denied the defense’s request.
There is no trial date set for Kendrell Lavar Lyles, the man accused of killing Booker. Blavity previously reported Lyles was arrested in connection with two other killings when police realized he may have been tied to the death of Booker.
The American Medical Association recently declared the murder of transgender people an epidemic, Blavity reported.