Detroit pastor charged in death of transgender woman due in court

Kelly Stough, 36, found dead in December

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 been charged in the murder of a transgender woman who was found dead in December in the city's Palmer Park neighborhood is due in court Monday afternoon.

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

A preliminary examination hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

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. 

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. 

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