An Arkansas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing transgender teen girl Brayla Stone in 2020.
Trevone Hayse Miller, 20, of Sherwood, Ark., agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for the 50-year sentence, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. The sentence was announced Thursday. He had initially been charged with capital murder, which carries a sentence of either the death penalty or life in prison.
Prosecutors said Miller has been in a relationship with Stone, and he killed her in order to cover it up. She had said she was going to make their relationship public, and he was worried he would be perceived as gay because of his involvement with a trans girl.
Stone, who lived in North Little Rock, was found dead in a car in Sherwood June 25, 2020, three weeks after her 17th birthday. She had been shot in the head.
Miller was arrested a week after Stone’s death and has been jailed ever since. He will not be eligible for parole until he’s served 35 years of his sentence, which includes the time he has already spent in custody.
He had been implicated in another killing, that of Bryan Allen Thompson, 17, who was fatally shot during a robbery in Sherwood in October 2016. Miller and two other teens with charged in Thompson’s death. Miller agreed to testify against the others in exchange for having a capital murder charge dropped, and he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery. He never had to testify, as one other defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and the other to aggravated robbery and first-degree murder.
Stone was one of 44 trans Americans known to have died by violence in 2020, the most in a single year since activists and media have been keeping track. The count this year, however, is likely to exceed that, as 34 such deaths have been reported already. There are likely many more victims, given that some are deadnamed or misgendered by police or media, or their deaths not reported at all.