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Man testifies that he killed Black transgender woman, dumped her body in Dallas’ White Rock Lake

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

Ruben Alvarado testified Tuesday that he strangled Chynal Lindsey, whom he met on a dating app.
Defendant Ruben Alvarado stood
Defendant Ruben Alvarado stood as the jury entered during his murder trial Tuesday.(Elias Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

By Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Ruben Alvarado told jurors he panicked when he realized he had strangled 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey with a belt in the early hours of June 1, 2019.

Chynal Lindsey
Chynal Lindsey(via Facebook)

They were at White Rock Lake, so he decided to put her body in the water, he said.

Moments before he killed her, Alvarado discovered that Lindsey, whom he had met on a dating app, was a transgender woman.

But prosecutors said on the second day of Alvarado’s murder trial that the details of what led to Lindsey’s death don’t line up.

Lindsey’s body was pulled from the lake on the afternoon of June 1. Her case is one of a string of violent attacks against the transgender community in recent years, including the slayings of Muhlaysia BookerBrittany White and Kier Solomon.

Alvarado, 24, testified that he and Lindsey had spoken a few times through messages and on the phone before meeting. He said that when they talked on the phone, he was under the impression that she was a cisgender woman.

Call logs from May 31 and June 1 showed that the pair had talked on the phone and that Lindsey had texted an address to Alvarado. Alvarado testified that he drove to Arlington to pick up Lindsey from that address and that they drove to a nearby Jack in the Box because Lindsey was hungry.

Alvarado told jurors that he intended to have sex with Lindsey that night.

He said that after they got food, the pair drove around for a bit, eventually going to his apartment in Mesquite so he could charge his phone. Alvarado testified he went inside “for a few minutes,” but later said he got a charger and went back to his car.

Prosecutors disputed the claim, saying that cellphone data showed Alvarado and Lindsey were at the apartment for at least half an hour.

Alvarado said he then drove to White Rock Lake to have sex with Lindsey. They climbed into the back seat of his Ford Explorer, and Alvarado said he realized that something “wasn’t right.”

Lindsey, who outweighed Alvarado by about 40 pounds, had gotten on top of him and got aggressive when he confronted her, he testified. Alvarado said he got scared and started to fight back.

Ola Moussa displays a bag of evidence during the trial of Ruben Alvarado on Tuesday.
Ola Moussa displays a bag of evidence during the trial of Ruben Alvarado on Tuesday.(Elias Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

Alvarado testified that as he was punching Lindsey, he got on top of Lindsey and took off his belt, wrapped it around her neck and strangled her. When he realized Lindsey wasn’t moving, Alvarado said he panicked and decided to put her body in the lake. As he was pulling her body out of the SUV, her head hit the concrete, he said.

Prosecutors referenced an autopsy report that said Lindsey had hemorrhages in her brain and a fracture in her neck, presumably from the belt.

After he dumped her body in the lake, Alvarado said he “didn’t do anything” except work for the next few days.

But prosecutors said they had records that showed Alvarado had gotten back onto dating apps just two days later. They also said he had a track record of fabricating parts of his life and referenced a Facebook post where he had stated he was an Ultimate Fighting Championship boxer when he was not.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors presented to jurors forensic test results that found traces of blood and other bodily fluids that matched Alvarado and Lindsey from samples of fabric taken from Alvarado’s SUV.

Alvarado, whose trial continues Wednesday, could face life in prison if convicted.

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