Philly Man Gets 22 to 44 Years for Murder of Transgender Woman

A Philadelphia man admitted to stabbing a transgender woman to death inside an abandoned North Philadelphia home last year and will spend up to 44 years in prison.

Raheam Felton, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree murder and possessing an instrument of crime. He apologized for his crimes.

Felton, 32, stabbed London Kiki Chanel, a 21-year-old transgender woman, inside a rowhome along the 2200 block of Ingersoll Street in May 2015. The victim wasn't targeted for being transgender, said police.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said a domestic argument between Chanel -- identified also 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.

At a hearing last year, a witness testified that Chanel accused Felton of sexual touching before Felton attacked the Chanel and screamed: "This is what we do to a snitch."

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.

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

A judge Tuesday sentenced Felton to 22 to 44 years in prison.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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