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Okla. judge tells murderer to 'pray for salvation' for killing transgender woman

Posted at 9:18 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 22:18:45-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma judge told a man to pray for salvation before sentencing him to life in prison without parole for killing a transgender woman at an Oklahoma City motel in 2017.

The Oklahoman reports that 32-year-old Brandon Michael Tyson was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in February to fatally shooting 31-year-old Brooklyn Stevenson. Authorities did not say Tyson killed Stevenson because of her gender identity, but the slaying alarmed Oklahoma City's LGBTQ community.

Tyson's record includes convictions of burglary and illegal possession of guns. Oklahoma County District Judge Amy Palumbo told Tyson to "pray for your salvation."

Defense attorney Gary Higginbotham said Tyson is remorseful and blamed the shooting on drug addiction.

Tyson told police he shot Stevenson because she attacked him. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of a fight and that the two had sex before the shooting.

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