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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Albert Weathers Pleads Guilty to Murdering Transgender Woman, Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison

pastor albert weathers

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2018, Albert Weathers, pastor of Logos [Baptist] Church in Detroit, Michigan, murdered Kelly Stough, a transgender woman. Astoundingly, Weathers continued to pastor Logos Church while out on bail.

The Detroit News reported at the time:

Jessica Williams Stough often was amazed at the resilience that her transgender daughter showed facing hostility from strangers and others.

Kelly Stough “never let it get her down,” she said. “She never became bitter. ‘You’re not going to make me feel any less than who I am.’ I respected her so much for that.”

Now, those who know the 36-year-old Detroiter best are struggling to cope with her slaying.

Authorities announced Monday that a man has been charged in connection with her death. And as loved ones prepare for a funeral this weekend, they question the circumstances leading to the loss of a friendly, outgoing, aspiring designer with friends across the country.


A police officer found Stough’s body early Friday near McNichols Street at Brush, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. She had been fatally shot.

Authorities have charged Albert Weathers, 46, in the death. The Sterling Heights resident was arraigned Monday in 36th District Court on charges of open murder. Bond was set at $1 million.


he Prosecutor’s Office assigned the case to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz from the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a collaboration between the Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Foundation Inc. The foundation helps state law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving crimes against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. 

“This case reflects the excessive brutality that members of Detroit’s transgender community constantly face,” said Fair Michigan president Dana Nessel, the state’s incoming attorney general, in a statement. “We thank the Detroit Police Department for their efforts to investigate the facts of this tragic crime.”

Five years later, Weather’s pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and a felony gun charge. He will be sentenced in September. He faces up to ten years in prison.

The Detroit News reports:

The suspect charged in the fatal shooting in 2018 of a transgender woman in Detroit has pleaded guilty, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday.

Albert Weathers of Sterling Heights entered the plea to second-degree murder and felony firearm, the Prosecutor’s Office said. That was in addition to a sentence agreement of eight years for second-degree murder and two years for felony firearm.

Weathers “was given a bond in the case over the prosecutor’s objection and was not incarcerated while awaiting trial,” Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor’s Office, told The Detroit News. “With courts not having jury trials during the pandemic, this slowed things down. One the courts re-opened the prisoners in jail took priority on the trial docket. That is why his case took longer to go through the system.”


Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8 before Judge Bridget Hathaway.

Weathers was charged days after Kelly Stough was found dead Dec. 7, 2018, near East McNichols and Brush.

She died of a single gunshot wound in her left underarm.

The 36-year-old Detroit native, also known as Keanna Mattel, performed in the city’s ballroom scene.


Weathers, a pastor, told investigators Stough tried to rob him after he dropped his daughter off at school.

Authorities have alleged the shooting stemmed from a dispute over payment for sex services.

A sex worker testified in court in 2019 that Weathers routinely sought out dates in the Six Mile and Woodward area.


“This guilty plea hopefully brings a long-awaited sense of closure to the family and friends of Kelly Stough. Further, it demonstrates a firm commitment to justice from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and our team at the Fair Michigan Justice Project,” said FMJP President Alanna Maguire.

On September 8, 2023, Weathers was sentenced to ten years in prison.

CBS News reports:

Former pastor Albert Weathers has been sentenced in connection to fatally shooting 36-year-old Kelly Stough in Detroit in 2018.

The incident happened on Dec. 7, 2018, on East McNichols Street near Brush Street. At about 6 a.m., Detroit officers discovered that Stoughs, a transgender woman, had been fatally shot.

Detroit police conducted an investigation, and on Dec. 10, Weathers, of Sterling Heights, was arraigned on the charges of open murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

On July 27, 2023, Weathers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony firearm, with a sentence agreement of eight years for the second-degree murder charge and two years for the felony firearm charge.

“The transgender community is among the most marginalized communities in this country,” said Prosecutor Kym Worthy. “The Wayne County Prosecutors Office is committed to that not being the case in Wayne County. Today, yet another step was taken to protect our trans community members. Defendant Albert Weathers pled guilty this morning to the murder of Kelly Stough. She will not be forgotten. She mattered. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who bring harm to this and other Wayne County communities.”

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    On Transgender Day of Remembrance, many events include a reading of the names and locales of trans or gender-variant people who were murdered simply for being who they are. I have participated in such events, and read names. Every time, I am struck by how often the killers receive lighter sentences than those who kill other people–or no sentence at all.

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