Update (March 22, 2019):  A friend of Kelly Stough, a woman killed in Detroit in December, told a prosecutor Stough's alleged murderer was a frequent customer for transgender sex workers.

Pride Source reports Kyra Butts made the revelation during an interview with special prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz.

Butts admitted she went on “dates” with Detroit pastor Albert Weathers but said she stopped once he began to exhibit “intimidating” and “aggressive” behavior toward her. She claimed the pastor also had a history of disputing the rates Butts charged for their encounters.

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“He was one of the guys that I hooked up with,” she said. “He would drive around a lot before he would pick someone up.”

Butts claimed she saw Weathers in the area about a week before he allegedly shot and killed Stough. He reportedly killed her December 7 after a conflict over money.

Eddie Neal-Price, another witness in the case, told the prosecution he saw Weathers push a woman, believed to be Stough, from a car on the day of her death. He called 911 and left. Neal-Price's testimony was presented during a February 24 preliminary hearing.

The Associated Press reports Weathers was charged with open murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony on March 11.

Original: Detroit pastor Albert Weathers has been charged in the murder of 36-year-old Kelly Stough.  

Stough, a transgender woman, was found shot to death on the morning of December 7. Officials haven’t yet released a possible motive for the slaying. A source told 7 Action News that after the shooting, the pastor fled the scene, went to work and then called the police to say he shot someone who attempted to rob him. He is currently in jail on a $1 million bond for first-degree murder.

Stough was well-known in the local LGBTQ community and aspired to be a designer and fashion buyer.

“She was loved,” said her mother, Jessica Williams-Stough. "She had a lot of people who loved her.”

An attorney of the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP), special prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz, is handling the case. The FMJP, a collaboration between the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and Fair Michigan Foundation, focuses on crimes which target individuals in the LGBTQ community.

“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,” said Dana Nessel, president of Fair Michigan.

Stough’s death is a microcosm of the violence transgender people, particularly Black trans women, are subjected to across the country. According to a recent report by the Human Rights Coalition and Trans People of Color Coalition, of the 102 transgender people killed between 2013 and 2017, 75 were Black, and at least 88 were trans women. 

Additionally, the Report on the Experiences of Black Respondents study states the Black trans community experiences higher levels of unemployment (quadruple the rate of the general U.S. population), extreme discomfort with the police and high instances of poverty and homelessness.

Jessica relayed a message to families and friends of trans individuals who have to endure transphobia.

“Be there for them, that's the most important part. If it's OK at home, it's easier for them to cope outside of home."

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help cover funeral expenses. You can donate here.

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