Police Charge Man With Woman's Murder Inside Philadelphia Home

A man stands accused of stabbing a woman in the back and neck during a fight inside an abandoned North Philadelphia home.

Philadelphia Police announced murder charges Tuesday against Raheam Felton of S 61st Street.

Felton, 31, stabbed London Chanel a 21-year-old transgender woman, around 12:40 a.m. Monday inside a row home along the 2200 block of Ingersoll Street.

"She had a heart of gold," Chanel's friend Kione Seymore said remembering her Monday evening. "She hardly ever frowned. She always had a smile on her face. Her laughter was infectious."

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said an argument between Chanel -- identified by police as London Banks -- and Felton sparked the deadly incident inside a middle bedroom on the third floor of the house.

The verbal tiff soon grew into a physical fight that ended with Chanel being stabbed twice in the back and once in the neck, according to Small.

The attacker and another person, who witnessed the stabbing, carried the woman downstairs and placed her on quilts outside the home. They were doing CPR on the victim when they saw a School District of Philadelphia officer nearby.

Small said they flagged the officer down for help who then called Philadelphia Police.

Officers rushed the victim to Hahnemann University Hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m., police said.

Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs for the city, confirmed Monday afternoon that Chanel was a member of the transgender community and said she was "devastated" by the loss.

"My heart goes out to her family, friends and the community as we mourn her death," she said.

A native of Victoria, Texas, about 2 hours northeast of Corpus Christi, Chanel came to Philadelphia several years ago and spent time living at Covenant House, a youth shelter and crisis center in Germantown, according to friends.

Veronica Allen, Chanel's mother, said her daughter's transition had taken a toll on their relationship, but that they reconnected in March and she was looking forward to her moving home.

“She was going to go to court to change her name and then she was going to come home," Allen said. “That’s what we were working towards, but that man took it away from me."

A Municipal Court judge arraigned Felton on murder and weapons charges Monday evening. Felton remained jailed after being denied bail.

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