- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - One suspect was in custody and three remained at large Monday after a deadly attack last week on a transgender prostitute that Philadelphia police say was motivated by robbery, not hate.

Pedro Redding, 24, was arraigned Monday on murder, conspiracy and weapons charges in the Oct. 6 death of Kiesha Jenkins in North Philadelphia.

Redding, whose history includes several robbery arrests involving transgender and non-transgender victims, told police he was one of four men who attacked Jenkins after they saw her exit a vehicle around 2:30 a.m., Homicide Captain James Clark said.

The men targeted the 22-year-old Jenkins because they thought she had money, Clark said. She was known to police as a prostitute in the area, he said.

Advocates had initially suspected Jenkins had been the victim of a hate crime. They said she was at least the 21st transgender woman murdered in the U.S. this year.

“This not a hate crime at all,” Clark said Monday. “It’s a sad and senseless murder, but it had nothing to do with this individual being transgender.”

Jenkins’ attackers punched and kicked her and one of them pulled out a gun and shot her twice in the back, Clark said. Redding told investigators that he was not the gunman.

Jenkins had tried to defender herself.

“My understanding is she did fight back as they were assaulting her,” Clark said. “You’re talking about four on one, but she gave a very valiant fight.”

Clark said he expected additional arrests shortly.

Redding is jailed without bail pending an Oct. 28 preliminary hearing. A public defender representing him could not be immediately reached to comment on the charges.

Redding is on probation after pleading guilty last year to aggravated assault and weapons charges.

He and another suspect had previously been arrested for robbing a transgender person, but the charges were dropped when the victim did not appear for court, Clark said

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