Slain Transgender Woman Was Target of 'Neighborhood' Robbers: Police - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Slain Transgender Woman Was Target of 'Neighborhood' Robbers: Police

Robbery Suspect Arrested in Murder of Transgender Woman

A suspect is in custody while police search for three others involved in the beating and murder of a transgender woman. Police say the suspect was known to rob people in the area, and they say this is not a hate crime. NBC10’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more about the suspect’s history. (Published Monday, Oct. 12, 2015)

A Philadelphia man with a history of violence stands accused of being involved in a robbery plot that led to the murder of a young transgender woman last week.

Police said they're continuing to search for three additional men in the killing.

A tip to homicide detectives led police to Pedro Redding on Sunday. A judge arraigned Redding on murder, conspiracy and weapons charges in relation to the brutal killing of Kiesha Jenkins early on Oct. 6.

Redding was among a group of "neighborhood individuals" who go around the city's Hunting Park section – where Redding lives – robbing people, Homicide Capt. James Clark said at a news conference on Monday. He said Redding and the men he was with that night are likely also responsible for other robberies in the neighborhood.

Suspect Faces Murder Charge in Transgender Woman's Death

[PHI] Suspect Faces Murder Charge in Transgender Woman's Death
Pedro Redding was charged Monday with murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses in the killing of Kiesha Jenkins.
(Published Monday, Oct. 12, 2015)

Clark said police believe Redding and his cohorts suspected people may have been carrying money in the high-prostitution area where Jenkins was killed. He said investigators do not believe Jenkins' killing was a hate crime.

"They rob a lot of different types of individuals. They just so happened that night to [target] Kiesha," Clark said, saying she was targeted at random.

The violent attack happened when the 22-year-old woman was dropped off on Wingohocking Street near 13th Street in the Hunting Park neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

When she got out of the car, police said, a group of several men accosted and beat her. When she fell to the ground, one of the men pulled a gun and shot Jenkins twice in the back, according to police.

Clark said he is hopeful that police will catch the other three men wanted in Jenkins' murder quickly. He said police do not believe Redding was the triggerman.

A judge on Monday morning refused Redding bail and sent the 24-year-old, who lives near the crime scene, to jail as he awaited a preliminary hearing.

LGBT Community Speaks on Murder of Transgender Woman

[PHI] LGBT Community Speaks on Murder of Transgender Woman
Police are searching for a group of men they say beat a transgender woman and then shot and killed her in the city’s Hunting Park section Tuesday morning. NBC10’s Drew Smith spoke with LGBT advocates shaken by the violence.
(Published Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015)

Redding previously pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and weapons charges for an unrelated 2014 incident and was sentenced to five years probation, according to court records. He was also previously arrested for drugs, robbery, weapons charges and assault, according to investigators.

Police said they continued to seek out the other men allegedly involved in the Jenkins' death.

Jenkins is at least the second transgender woman killed in Philadelphia this year, after London Chanel, 21, was fatally stabbed inside an abandoned home in May. A man was charged with murder in Chanel's killing.

Katrina Robinson said she knew Jenkins and has known other transgender people who have been killed in the city.

"This has been happening for so long, and it's difficult to see that this is happening to people in my community," Robinson said. "I know she suffered, and it was terrible because she was alone."

Information on an attorney for Redding was not immediately available.

No Arrests in Transgender Woman's Murder

[PHI] No Arrests in Transgender Woman's Murder
The morning after the killing of 22-year-old Kiesha Jenkins in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia, the search for her killers continued.
(Published Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015)

A $20,000 reward is on the table for the arrest and conviction of other suspects in the killing. Anyone with information in Jenkins' death should call Philadelphia police at 215-686-3334.