A Philadelphia transgender prostitute pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday and was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison for the 2010 strangling of a Chester County man in an Old City hotel.
Herman Burton, 24, of Southwest Philadelphia, who police said dresses and identifies as a woman, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, arson, and abuse of corpse in the Oct. 30, 2010, killing of Patrick Michael Brady, 49, at the Omni Hotel at Fourth and Chestnut Streets.
Burton said nothing before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson imposed the prison term negotiated by Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore and defense attorney F. Michael Medway.
Family and friends of Brady, who was married with a young daughter, testified about the loss his death caused them and remembered him as an outgoing, kindhearted man.
Burton, who had a history of arrests for prostitution, robbery and related offenses, was arrested in Center City on Nov. 2, 2010, and charged with strangling Burton and then setting the eighth-floor hotel room on fire. Burton left with Brady's cellphone, credit cards, and identification.
Pescatore said Burton's accomplice, Richard Collins, 22, of Bridgeton, N.J., will be sentenced Dec. 6 on his guilty pleas to theft, conspiracy, and abuse of corpse.
Police said Brady, a Center City hospital worker who sometimes stayed in the city after working at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, admitted Burton to his room in the early morning hours. A violent fight erupted that ended with Brady's death.
Medway described Burton's background and childhood as "horrendous" and included being raped: "This case is an all-around American tragedy. It's a tragedy for the family of the victim and tragedy for the defendant and his family."