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Former Detroit Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years for Fatally Shooting Transgender Woman

By Josh Shepherd
albert weathers pastor transgender
Albert Weathers, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for fatally shooting Kelly Stough. (Photo: Wayne County Sheriff's Office)

A former pastor in Detroit has been sentenced to eight years in prison for the 2018 shooting death of a transgender woman, Kelly Stough, ending nearly five years of court proceedings over the case. 

On Friday, Judge Bridget Hathaway of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan, sentenced Albert Weathers, 50, of Sterling Heights, for fatally shooting Stough, 36. 

Six weeks prior, on July 27, Weathers had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony use of a firearm as part of a plea agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

At the time of the crime, on December 7, 2018, Weathers had been pastor of Logos Baptist Church in Detroit, according to multiple reports. He also worked as a security guard for the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

In the case, prosecutors sparred with Weathers over his account of the shooting, according to a report by Macomb Daily. Weathers claimed in court that Stough attempted to rob him. He brandished his weapon in self-defense, he said, and it “accidentally” fired, fatally shooting Stough. 

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However, the downtown Detroit area of McNichols and Woodward is “frequented by sex workers and their customers,” prosecutors contended, according to the news report. A witness testified that Weathers had frequented the area. Prosecutors claimed the shooting stemmed from Weathers’ non-payment of sex services. 

According to a statement from the prosecutor’s office, Stough’s mother, Jessica Williams, was grateful for the resolution in the case. 

“She was cared for. She was loved,” said Williams of the victim, in an interview with Fox 2 Detroit.

“I don’t want her to be what society may have a picture of trans women of color,” added Williams. “They’re not throw-a-ways. They’re not people who people have forgotten. They all have a backstory, and I think that’s something that needs to be realized.”

Prosecutor Kym Worthy stated in a release that transgender people are “among the most marginalized communities in this country” and that Wayne County has sought to defend and protect this population. 

“She will not be forgotten,” said Worthy of the victim. “She mattered. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who bring harm to this and other Wayne County communities.” 

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his family live in the Washington, D.C. area.

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7 Responses

  1. Regardless of what the victim did or didn’t do as a life style , they were created in the image of God, as are we all, and had value and significance to God and their family.

    I am so sorry for what happened and for the pain and loss of the family.

    That it happened at the hands of a “pastor “ is even worse.

    I am glad that the justice system has at least given a punishment to the attacker.

    Again, I am so sorry for your pain.

    1. The law doesn’t draw those distinctions. With a few pretty obvious exceptions, shooting somebody is an offense against the peace and dignity (such as it is) of the State of Michigan, and you’re not allowed to do it.

    1. My father-in-law was murdered by a business competitor and got 15 years. Would have been expected serve 7.
      We never did understand the light sentence, but as it ended he died in prison before 7 years were up. That the mercy of God on our family because we had been living in fear of when he would be released.

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