The pastor who shot and killed Kelly Stough last year will be tried for her murder.
The Detroit News
that, after a preliminary hearing on Friday, Judge Michael Wagner ordered 46-year-old Albert Weathers of Sterling Heights, Mich., to go to trial over the Dec. 7 shooting.
Weathers has admitted to shooting Stough, who was Black and transgender, but his explanation as to why has changed throughout the course of the investigation. Though he now claims that Stough had jumped his car and that he shot her in self-defense, Weathers also said that he fired his gun accidentally during earlier rounds of police questioning.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz doesn't believe either of these explanations, arguing instead that Weathers shot Stough during a dispute over payment after he'd sought out her services as a sex worker.
"She was disposable [to him]," Horowitz said. "He threw her out like trash and left her to die in the streets."
Stough was one of at least 28 trans women reported to have been killed in 2018, according to a spokesperson for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, who notes that 24 of whom were Black trans women.
Black trans women make up the "overwhelming" majority of fatal violence cases
involving a trans woman victim, they tell
, and the reasons for this are historical, systemic, and institutional.
"In order to more fully contextualize Stough's death, we have to understand and address the way Black trans life is made disposable," they say. "What we are witnessing in this ongoing violence against Black trans women is fatal manifestations of transphobia and misogynoir. The majority of trans women being killed are living in poverty, and face housing and job insecurity based on widespread discrimination practices in the workforce, all of which contribute to the context in which they face an increase in violence."