White supremacist to be imprisoned for life after murdering a black trans woman
A member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist group, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of fatally shooting a black transgender woman. He will not be granted the possibility of parole.
Back in February, Brandon Michael Tyson, a 32-year-old from Norman, Oklahoma, plead guilty to the first-degree murder of Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson in November 2017. He initially stated that the death was accidental, claiming that he was trying to defend himself against Stevenson after she attacked him, but the police found no evidence to support his claims.
According to The Oklahoman, prosecutors alleged that Tyson had had a sexual encounter with Stevenson before shooting her.
“Your actions show that you’re a liar, a thief, and a murderer,” Judge Amy Palumbo told Tyson as she delivered his sentence on Wednesday 24 April. “You are a danger to the public. You have been given chance after chance after chance,” she continued before adding that she hopes he prays for his salvation.
“Mr. Tyson has nothing but remorse for what he’s done to the victim, the victim’s family, and his family,” Tyson’s defence lawyer Gary Higginbotham told the aforementioned publication. “He has no justification. It’s just the effects of drug addiction.”
In court, Palumbo referenced Tyson’s previous convictions, including ones for burglary, illegal firearm possession and other serious crimes. She also discussed how many times he gone through rehabilitation processes, only to commit further felonies.
One of 29 transgender people tragically killed in the US that year, Stevenson was found dead at the Oxford Inn in Oklahoma City. She was just 31-years-old.
“Burying a child is nothing that a parent should have to do,” Stevenson’s mother Vivian said, as she addressed Tyson at the hearing. “So with that being said, I never wanted the death penalty for you because I did not want your parents to have to go through what I am having to endure. I do pray that you get life without parole, though, because you have proven by your actions that you do not deserve to be free ever again.”
Stevenson’s sister Leslie added: “The impact of Brooklyn’s murder has completely and dramatically changed our lives forever. Even though whatever happens today won’t bring Brooklyn back, at least our family can start to heal knowing her death was not in vain and her accused murderer will spend the rest of his life in prison where killers belong.”