Detroit pastor charged in death of transgender woman

Kelly Stough, 36, found dead Friday

Albert Weathers, 46, of Sterling Heights was charged Monday with murder in the death of Kelly Stough, 36, who was found dead on a street in the Detroit's Palmer Park neighborhood Friday. (Detroit Police Department, Facebook)

DETROIT - A Detroit pastor has been charged in the murder of a transgender woman who was found dead Friday in the city's Palmer Park neighborhood, officials said.

Albert Weathers, 46, of Sterling Heights was charged Monday with murder in the death of 36-year-old Kelly Stough.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office says evidence about how Stough's transgender status had a role will be presented in court. Spokeswoman Maria Miller declined further comment. A message seeking comment was left with Weathers' lawyer.

“I want people to know that because she was transgender doesn't mean that she was not loved, that she was not cared for,” Jessica Chantae Stough, Kelly’s mother, told NBC News. “She has a family who cared about her, who loved her, and I want them to know that transgender ladies--expressly those of color--they're just not throwaways; people care about them.”

Stough's cousin created a GoFundMe page Saturday to raise money for funeral costs. As of Thursday morning, the campaign had met its goal of $4,000.

Michigan's next attorney general, Dana Nessel, says the case reflects the "excessive brutality" faced by members of Detroit's transgender community. Nessel is president of Fair Michigan, a group committed to equal protection for gay, lesbian and transgender residents.

Wayne County officials said Weathers is charged with open murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He is due back in court later this month. His bond was set at $1 million.

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