Man Sentenced in Murder of Transgender Teen He Allegedly Killed to Hide Relationship

A man in Arkansas was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of a transgender teen, in what the authorities claim was an attempt to hide their relationship.

Braylen Stone, a 17-year-old transgender woman who went by Brayla, was killed in June of 2020 in Sherwood by Trevone Hayse Miller, who allegedly turned 20 last week according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Stone's body was found in a parked car near a walking path off Gap Creek Drive. Miller has been in jail since his arrest a week after her body was found.

According to court documents, the prosecutors said Miller had shot and killed her in order to "keep Ms. Stone from revealing that they were in a sexual relationship."

He entered a guilty plea to first-degree murder earlier this month according to the news station KARK. His sentencing documents stated the plea reduced his sentence from capital murder, in exchange for the 50-year sentence imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims. He will have to serve 35 years before he can qualify for parole.

According to the Gazette, Stone's murder was the second time Miller has been implicated in the killing of a teenager in Sherwood.

In April of 2016, Miller was the youngest of three teenagers charged with capital murder in the death of 17-year-old Bryan Allen Thompson. Miller was 14 at the time, and Thompson was found dead behind the wheel of his car in the Recreation Center parking lot.

In October of that year, Miller made a deal to plead guilty to aggravated robbery and testified against the other two, and managed to drop the capital murder charge against him in the exchange.

Miller never had to testify. His co-defendants, 15-year-old Quincy Parks of Sherwood and 17-year-old Xavier Terrell Porter of North Little Rock, pleaded guilty eight months later.

The death of Brayla Stone brought national attention to the violence against transgender people. Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, immediate past chair of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees, said that the past year has brought "divisive, dehumanizing rhetoric from anti-equality political leaders that has been contributing to really what's a toxic mix of racism, sexism and transphobia."

The AMA has been working at state and federal levels to fight legislation that incites discrimination against transgender people.

"These issues are inextricably linked to an individual's ability to live a healthy life. It's just so important that we as physicians speak up about anything that interferes with that," Dr. Ehrenfeld said.

Newsweek reached out to the National Center for Transgender Equality for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

An Arkansas man was sentenced for the murder of a transgender teen, citing he killed her in order to hide their relationship. Members of the Transgender community and their supporters hold a rally and march to City Hall before the mid-term elections to protest against what they say are continual attacks from the Trump administration, in Los Angeles, California on November 2, 2018. MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images