A Philadelphia judge Wednesday ordered a Logan man who told police he was the lookout for three accomplices in October's robbery and slaying of a transgender woman to stand trial for murder.
After a preliminary hearing in the killing of 22-year-old Kiesha Jenkins, Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon ruled that Pedro Redding, 24, also be tried on conspiracy and robbery charges.
Defense attorney Stephen Gross argued that the prosecution had failed to make a case that Redding, who police acknowledge was not the gunman, was an active participant in the plan to rob Jenkins.
DeLeon, however, agreed with Assistant District Attorney Chesley Lightsey that Redding's videotaped statement to police - in which he admitted that one of his accomplices said they were looking to get some money and that another one carried a gun - constituted sufficient evidence to proceed with trial.
"He was in it for a robbery, and it turned into a murder," Lightsey said.
In his statement, Redding tells detectives that an accomplice told him to "watch my back" and that he did so until the shooting started.
Police said Jenkins, who lived in Grays Ferry with her family, got out of a car around 2:20 a.m. Oct. 6 at 13th and Wingohocking Streets, an area known for prostitution. Police theorize that the four robbers suspected she had cash and jumped Jenkins.
Jenkins fought back, and police said one of the robbers drew a gun and shot her twice in the back.
Two days after police asked the public's help in solving Jenkins' slaying, an anonymous caller told police that a man named Pedro Redding was known for committing robberies in the neighborhood.
Police arrested Redding, and on the videotape played in court, he gives detectives the first names and nicknames of his three alleged accomplices.
Lightsey said the three accomplices have not been arrested, adding: "Police are actively investigating this case, and we're confident that the others involved will be brought to justice."