A Detroit pastor has been and charged with murdering a local Black trans woman.
According to 7 Action News, police arrested Albert Weathers for the death of Kelly Stough, 36, a transgender activist whose body was found last Friday.
A source told the news station that Weathers, 46, fled the scene of crime to go to his day job at the Great Lakes Water Authority, and then called police an hour later claiming he shot someone who tried to rob him.
Police are staying mum about the details and possible motive behind her death, but the Detroit Free Press reported that “the Prosecutor’s Office assigned the case to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz from the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a collaboration between the Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Foundation Inc.”
The foundation helps authorities solves crimes against the LGBTQ community.
“This case reflects the excessive brutality that members of Detroit’s transgender community constantly face,” said Fair Michigan president Dana Nessel, the state’s incoming attorney general, in a statement.
“We thank the Detroit Police Department for their efforts to investigate the facts of this tragic crime.”
A recent report suggests that Kelly is one of at least 25 transgender people to be killed this year in the U.S.
Her mother, Jessica Williams-Stough, wants for people to know that her daughter was more than just a statistic: She was an aspiring fashion designer who was loved and respected by her community.
“She was loved,” Williams-Stough said about her daughter, adding, “she had a lot of people who loved her. She just wasn’t nobody.”
Williams-Stough also stressed that despite Kelly being teased while growing up, she “never let it get her down. She never became bitter. ‘You’re not going to make me feel any less than who I am.’ I respected her so much for that.”
Meanwhile, Weathers, who is married with children and rents space in a local church for his small congregation, is being held on $1 million bond.
Weather’s attorney, David Cripps, claims that his client is innocent and is asking for his “outrageous” bond be lowered because of Weather’s strong ties to the community.
A Go Fund Me page was created to help Kelly’s family pay for her funeral, which will take place on Saturday.
“She loved encouraging the younger individuals and inspiring them and letting them know they’re OK the way they are,” her mother said.
“She was like a gentle giant. She wouldn’t hurt anyone and loved people and wanted them to respect people for who they are.”