Judge Upholds Murder Charge in Beating, Shooting That Killed Transgender Woman Near Philadelphia Park

Charges against a Philadelphia man with a history of violence accused of murdering a transgender woman in October near Philadelphia's Hunting Park were upheld during a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Murder, conspiracy and robbery charges against Pedro Redding, 24, will proceed to court, a judge ruled during Redding's hearing Wednesday morning. The District Attorney's Office withdrew charges of possession of an instrument of crime and illegal gun possession against Redding, but added the robbery charge Wednesday, according to court documents.

Redding was arrested in October in the brutal killing of Kiesha Jenkins, a 22-year-old transgender woman who was badly beaten and then shot to death at 13th and Wingohocking streets, in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia, Oct. 6. A tip led homicide detectives to Redding, whom investigators described as being among a group of "neighborhood individuals" who would go around the Hunting Park neighborhood and rob people. Redding lived in that neighborhood, police said.

Court records show that Redding has prior arrests on charges including robbery and aggravated assault.

Police at the time of Jenkins' murder said they believed Redding and his cohorts suspected people may have been carrying money in the high-prostitution area where Jenkins was killed. They 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," Homicide Unit Capt. James Clark said, saying she was targeted at random.

Police said several men attacked Jenkins that night, beating her and later shooting her. Court records do not indicate that anyone has been charged in the crime other than Redding, and it's unclear where police stand in identifying the other individuals involved.

Redding is scheduled to appear in court again April 20 for a formal arraignment.

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