Cindy Folefack
Editor-in-Chief

Dallas police have arrested and charged former Chartwells worker Kendrell Lavar Lyles in the deaths of three people including Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman whose attack made national headlines in April. Lyles — who worked at UTD as recently as spring 2019 — is currently in police custody. 

The former employee was taken into custody June 5 after police received a tip about the May 22 murder of Leticia Grant. Police also have a witness claiming to have seen Lyles shoot and kill Kenneth Cichocki during a drug transaction on May 23. 

Booker, who is believed to be one of Lyles’ victims according to a police affidavit, gained attention in April 2019 after a video showed her being beaten by a mob in downtown Dallas as onlookers yelled homophobic slurs. Police said Lyles’ car matched the description of a vehicle Booker was seen entering on May 18, the last time she was seen alive.

Student Government president and former Chartwells employee Ayoub Mohammed released a statement in response to the discovery of Lyles’ previous employment.

“First, I would like to condemn the heinous acts recently committed by Kendrell Lyles in the Dallas area,” he wrote. “I can confirm that Kendrell worked on campus as a dishwasher for Chartwells but do not have any details regarding his hiring or employment with Chartwells. You would need to speak with Chartwells for any information regarding his employment.”

Lyles is currently a person of interest in the murder of Chynal Lindsey, a transgender woman whose body was found in White Rock Lake on June 1.

University officials and Chartwells representatives were unable to comment prior to publication.