A Michigan pastor has been sentenced to eight years in prison for the shooting death of a transgender woman in Detroit after the victim’s family gave damning statements.
Albert Weathers, 50, was convicted last week of murder Kelly Stough, 36, in 2018.
Weathers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and a felony firearm charge. An agreement with prosecutors called for a maximum sentence of eight years for the murder and two years for the felony.
The victim’s mother, Jessica Williams, said she was grateful for the resolution of the case. But the murderer, leaving Stough behind, tore him up “in the street, thrown away like trash.”
‘She had the courage to face everything and live her truth her way, without excuses or regrets. Unlike you, Weathers, you murdered my child to hide your shame and fear of who you really are,” she said.
Kelly Stough, 36, a transgender woman, was shot and killed on the morning of December 7, 2018
Albert Weathers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing the transgender woman
Patricia Hale, the victim’s grandmother, told the guilty priest: “But I pray God’s blessing on you.” You know the word, you know what you did. Ask for forgiveness and I hope it comes.’
According to the statement, Stough’s body was found around 6 a.m. on December 7, 2018.
After the shooting, Weathers went to his job in downtown Detroit, where he worked as a security guard. About an hour later, he called the police and reported the incident as a robbery.
Weathers, who was also a pastor at Logos Church in Detroit, told authorities he shot Stough in self-defense, although he also claimed the shooting was an accident.
He initially told investigators, “I was protecting myself.” But he later claimed his gun “accidentally exploded.”
According to Weathers, he grabbed his .40-caliber Glock only after Stough jumped into his car and demanded cash. He claimed he told her to get out of the car, at which point Stough lunged at him with a sharp metal object.
Prosecutors argued that the pastor knew Stough and was often in the area where the shooting occurred. The area is frequented by sex workers and their clientele.
Born Tristian Stough, Stough played college football before dropping out to pursue a career in fashion.
The exact motivation behind Weathers’ shooting of the victim remains unclear.
Stough’s mother (left) and grandmother (right) delivered victim impact statements remembering their loved ones and laying waste to Weathers
Weathers, 50, remained emotionless throughout the sentencing. A deputy prosecutor said she felt it was unclear whether Weathers understood the gravity of his actions
When Weathers entered his guilty plea earlier this summer, Williams said she was relieved when her child’s killer admitted his actions.
“I was glad – I just wanted to hear him admit it.” Did you say a prayer to her before you left her like trash on the street? “Did you at least hold her hand and tell her you were sorry,” she said.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement that Stough “will not be forgotten.” She was important. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who harm this and other communities in Wayne County.”
She added that Weathers’ ruling was another step by her office to defend members of the marginalized transgender community.
Weathers declined to comment in court last week
Lisa Lindsey, one of the assistant prosecutors who tried the case, said she wasn’t sure Weathers realized the seriousness of his actions.
“Although he has pleaded guilty to this offence, based on the pre-sentence report and what I heard during the prison visits, I still do not believe the defendant fully understands what he did that morning.”
Weathers remained stoic throughout the hearing and did not speak on his behalf. His lawyer reviewed the facts and the subsequent police report before hearing the case from the judge.
The priest has until October 9th to turn himself in.