Sex worker says pastor charged in Detroit slaying was a customer
A self-admitted sex worker testified Monday that a Sterling Heights pastor charged in the slaying of a transgender Detroit woman routinely sought out "dates" in the Six Mile and Woodward area.
Kyra Butts, a transgender woman, testified in 36th District Court that the pastor, Albert Weathers, frequented the Palmer Park area and patronized her and other prostitutes, many of whom are transgender women.
"He was one of the guys that I hooked up with," Butts said during a preliminary hearing for Weathers. "He would drive around a lot before he would pick someone up."
Butts said she stopped going on "dates" with Weathers because he would give her the "run around" when it came to how much she would be paid for her services.
"His attitude was aggressive and kind of intimidating," Butts testified.
Weathers is accused of killing 36-year-old Kelly Stough, who allegedly was also a sex worker in the Woodward and Six Mile area. Stough's body was found near McNichols at Brush about 6 a.m. Dec. 7. She had been shot to death.
Butts said she last saw Weathers in the area a week before Stough's murder, which authorities allege was the result of a dispute over payment for sex services.
Weathers, 46, has been charged with open murder. His bond was set at $1 million.
Weathers' defense attorney David Cripps objected to Watts' testimony, saying it was "designed to smear my client" but he was overruled by Judge Michael Wagner.
Stough, also known as Keanna Mattel, died of a single gunshot wound in her left underarm. Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. David Moons ruled Stough's death a homicide.
A Glock .40 S&W, which was identified as the possible murder weapon, was displayed during the hearing.
In a 911 call played in court Monday, Eddie Neal-Price told a 911 dispatcher that he saw a woman being thrown from a vehicle Dec. 7 in the area of Six Mile and Brush. The man, who was allegedly in the car with a woman believed to be Stough, drove off.
Neal-Price repeated in court that he saw a woman being thrown from the car, though under cross-examination, he said he wasn't sure if the person was a woman or a man.
Cripps questioned Neal-Price's account, saying it was "inconsistent".
The case against Weathers was assigned by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office 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 agencies and prosecutors in solving crimes against victims who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Testimony continues at 1:30 p.m. March 11 before Wagner.