Police arrest man in transgender woman's murder

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London Kiki Chanel, murder victim

Police have arrested a Southwest Philadelphia man for Monday's murder of a transgender woman from Wister.

Raheam Felton, 31, of 61st Street near Elmwood Avenue, was charged with murder and possessing an instrument of crime for fatally stabbing a person police identified as London Banks but friends knew as London Kiki Chanel, 21, of Armat Street near Germantown Avenue.

Police found Chanel bleeding on the sidewalk about 12:49 a.m. Monday outside Ingersoll Street near 22nd in North Philadelphia. She died at 1:03 a.m. at Hahnemann University Hospital of multiple stab wounds, police said.

Felton is being held without bail pending a June 3 preliminary hearing, court records show. He is a repeat offender with multiple previous arrests - but few convictions - for offenses ranging from aggravated assault to prostitution and burglary, records show.

Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel, the department's LGBT liaison, told Philadelphia Gay News that the murder was a domestic situation. Felton lived with Chanel and two other transgender women, and the deadly argument erupted over a personal conflict, not anti-transgender bias, Bethel told the paper.

Chanel was at least the second transgender woman murdered in Philly in recent years. Charles Sargent was arrested in the July 2013 murder and dismemberment of Diamond Williams in Strawberry Mansion; he remains jailed without bail awaiting trial.