Transgender sex worker shoots client who demanded his money back at Crissy Field

3 mins read

The suspect in the fatal shooting at Crissy Field last month was working as a sex worker when she shot her client after he learned she was transgender and demanded his money back. 

According to court documents released by the United States District Court Northern District of California SF Division, Leniyah Butler, also known as Christopher Butler was working on November 12 when the victim approached her. 

Butler asked the victim if he wanted to date and the victim said yes, adding that he was looking for “everything.” 

After discussing the price, the victim said he needed to drop by at an ATM and the defendant agreed to get in his car. 

Afterward, the victim insisted on driving to Crissy Field even though the defendant wanted to pull over somewhere close. 

At Crissy Field, the defendant performed oral sex on the victim. The victim then said he wanted more but Butler told him she was transexual. 

The victim demanded his money back and Butler refused. 

“There’s no money back,” she was quoted as saying. “I was never giving [the money] back to him.”

An argument ensued and the victim demanded she get out of the car. 

Documents stated Butler felt disrespected and refused. She explained that if she had gotten out, she would’ve been “stranded cold as f**k,” looked “dumb as f**k,” and “just really did not want to walk” home.

It was then that the victim began getting out and she shot him in the head using a gun she kept in her purse, documents said.

Right before she shot him, she saw “hella different angles and ways on how I’m gonna do it,” she explained.

She took the car and pulled the victim’s body out of the way without calling for help. She drove to Kriska Road and called her mother for help. 

Court documents said she wiped the victim’s car for fingerprints and DNA. Her mother advised her to get rid of evidence and she disposed the victim’s backpack and the clothes she was wearing. 

Her mother threw away the purse and the defendant gave the gun to a third party, telling them “there’s a body on [it].”

The FBI executed a search warrant for the defendant on Nov. 20. When agents arrived, Butler jumped out a second-story window and fled through neighboring backyards before the FBI located and arrested her.

She was charged with murder.

Court documents cited the defendant’s willingness to evade law enforcement, destroy evidence and violent criminal record as among the factors arguing for pretrial detention. Six months ago, Butler was arrested after spraying bear mace at a crowded venue, documents state. She also has previous convictions for attempting to evade arrest.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.