Detroit pastor accused of murdering transgender woman

PHOTO: Police are investigating the death of a transgender woman who was found dead in Detroit on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.PlayWXYZ
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A Detroit pastor has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a 36-year-old transgender woman, authorities said.

Albert Weathers, 46, was charged with open murder and use of a firearm on Monday in the case of Kelly Stough, who was found dead on a Detroit street last week.

Prosecutors said a police officer discovered Stough's body last Thursday and charged Weathers, the pastor of the Logo's Church, after an investigation.

PHOTO: PHOTO: Kelly Stough, who was found dead on a Detroit street on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. WXYX
Kelly Stough, who was found dead on a Detroit street on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

Authorities did not disclose a possible motive, but sources told ABC affiliate WXYZ that Weathers allegedly fled the scene and reported the shooting to police afterwards.

He was fired from his position at the Great Lakes Water Authority shortly after being charged, according to the company.

"Albert Weathers is no longer employed at GLWA. Mr. Weathers was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident," a Great Lakes Water Authority spokesperson said. "His conduct was unrelated to his employment with GLWA."

Weathers is being held on $1 million bond, but his lawyer, David Cripps, plans to petition for a lower bond, citing the suspect's strong ties to the community. He said his client maintains his innocence, according to WXYZ.

Prosecutors and officials with the Fair Michigan Foundation, a program that assists in solving serious crimes involving members of the LGBT community, called Stough's death an example rampant violence against transgender people.

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

Weathers is due back in court next week.