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New details emerge in case of pastor charged with murdering transgender woman

Posted: 6:13 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-12 07:20:24-05

"She was loved," said Jessica Williams-Stough about her 36-year-old daughter, Kelly Stough, who was murdered Friday morning near East McNichols and Brush in Detroit. "She had a lot of people who loved her. She just wasn't nobody."

Albert Weathers, a local pastor, has been charged with open murder and felony firearm (use of a firearm in commission of a felony). 

Weathers appeared in court Monday for arraignment where his bond was set at $1 million.

Kelly Stough was a 36-year-old transgender woman who was beloved in the LGBTQ community and aspired to be a designer and buyer in the world of fashion. 

Investigators won't reveal a motive or other details surrounding the murder, but a source told 7 Action News that after the shooting, Weathers fled the scene, clocked in at work at the Great Lakes Water Authority, and then called police an hour after the shooting to say that someone tried to rob him and that he shot someone. 

Weathers lives in Sterling Heights and a woman who answered the door at his home declined to comment. 

Someone who knows Weathers, but wished to remain anonymous, told 7 Action News that he's married with children and that he rents space in a local church for his small congregation.

The case has been assigned to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP).

The FMJP is a collaboration between the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and Fair Michigan Foundation that focuses on serious crimes against those in the LGBTQ community.

Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel said, “This case reflects the excessive brutality that members of Detroit’s transgender community constantly face.  We thank the Detroit Police Department for their efforts to investigate the facts of this tragic crime.”

A spokesperson for the Great Lakes Water Authority told 7 Action News on Tuesday that "Albert Weathers is no longer employed at GLWA. Mr. Weathers was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, and his conduct was unrelated to his employment with GLWA."

That spokesperson would not say what position Weathers held with the water authority or when he was terminated. 

David Cripps, defense attorney for Albert Weathers, says his client maintains his innocence and they will vigorously defend against the charges. Cripps called the $1million bond “outrageous” and said they will argue for it to be lowered based on his client’s strong ties to the community, which include his church, Logo’s Church in Detroit.

Visitation and public viewing for Kelly Stough have been set for Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at James H. Cole Home for Funerals which is located on Schaefer near Puritan in Detroit. 

Stough's funeral is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at the same location.

Albert Weathers is due back in court next week for a Probable Cause Conference, and his preliminary examination is set for Thursday, December 27 at 1:30 in front of Judge Michael Wagner.