Baptist Pastor Arrested for Murder of Trans Woman Keanna Mattel in Detroit

Baptist pastor Albert Weathers, 46, was arraigned Monday for the murder of transgender woman, Keanna Mattel, according to a post at Planettransgender.

Weathers is charged with open murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The 36th District Court set bond at $1 million according to The Detroit News. Other details suggest authorities are considering that Keanna’s murder may have been a hate crime, not a botched robbery as they originally claimed.

The County 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.

Investigators won’t reveal a motive or other details surrounding the murder, but a source told 7 Action News that after the shooting, Weathers fled the scene, clocked in at work at the Great Lakes Water Authority, and then called police an hour after the shooting to say that someone tried to rob him and that he shot someone.

“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.”

Albert Weathers is reported to be married with children, an employee of the Great Lakes Water Authority and pastor of The New Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church (video at link)  and more recently Logos Baptist Church.

Albert Weathers Baptist Church
Albert Weather circa 2008 via New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

So a Christian pastor with his own church is targeted in a botched robbery, *maybe* shoots someone, and his response is to leave the scene and drive to work, reporting the shooting an hour later? An hour later? Come on. If he shot someone in self-defense, shouldn’t he have immediately called for help? I understand getting somewhere secure if you are in mortal fear. I understand maybe he didn’t have a cell phone. But I don’t understand how a Christian pastor shoots someone and goes to work, logs in, and then calls the police about a shooting.

Who does that? People who have to think up a cover story? If he’s carrying a permitted weapon, he should know the basic rules of shooting someone in self-defense not requiring cover stories. And also being a pastor he shouldn’t probably leave someone to die on the street like a dog over a robbery. Is that what Jesus would do? NO.

Public information shows that Logos Church was incorporated in Michigan in 2003 with an annual revenue of $100,00 and a staff of two. It was originally incorporated in 2000 as a nonprofit corporation, but appears now to be a privately held corporation. The church does not have much of an online presence beyond a few stray snippets of video shared by other people. So there’s no clear way to determine what if any beliefs this church teaches about sexual orientation and gender identity (or married men shooting women in the street.)

Weathers remains in jail. His lawyer is screeching about his ties to the community, but I’m guessing the lack of information about Mr. Weathers or his church suggests perhaps those ties aren’t quite set in firmament. And there’s a lot of questions unanswered as of now. A Christian pastor who flees the scene where someone is dying in the street without immediately seeking help for that person is not exactly someone we need walking around free and clear.

Friends of Keanna have organized a fundraising event for Wednesday December to help defray her burial expenses. Her family appears to have a relationsihp with Keanna, acknowledging her by her pronouns, but the Crowdfund they set up does deadname her and some comments use male pronouns. They will be at the fundraiser event. They have a goal of $4,000 to bury their daughter.

Visitation and public viewing  have been set for Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at James H. Cole Home for Funerals which is located on Schaefer near Puritan in Detroit.

Her funeral is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at the same location. I do not know if her identity will be respected at either event or in the formal obituary.

A Black male married Christian pastor with children shooting to death a Black trans woman in the middle of the night is certainly suspicious. It reinforces – for me – the need for Christians to clearly and loudly affirm their support and respect for the dignity and identities of the LGBTQ community if they want our community to have any faith in them, much less their religion. Christians, you need to step up on this tragedy and more if you want to undo the harm much less build bridges.

Keanna was not sinful by nature. If she was involved in a robbery, that didn’t mean she deserved to die. If she was connected to Weathers in some other relationship, she did not deserve to die. There’s absolutely nothing righteous or decent or Gosepl like about this situation.

So we must rely on the institutions of justice to investigate thoroughly and keep our eyes tightly focuses on Detroit, offering support to Keanna’s friends and neighbors.

Thank you to Planet Transgender for their investigation and reporting.

  • Very sad when a religion says love thy neighbor and a man of the cloth murders …. why is this time in our lives so filled with people who hate?
    I hate to blame, but the orange man in the white house needs to go away!

Comments are closed.