NewsCovering Kern County


Tehachapi woman, Wendy Howard, accused of killing ex-boyfriend headed to trial

Posted at 8:04 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 23:12:49-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Wednesday marked the end of a two-part preliminary hearing for Wendy Howard, the Tehachapi woman accused of fatally shooting her ex-boyfriend Kelly Rees Pitts. The judge has ruled that there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Her family including her son, Brent Frost, could be seen supporting Howard inside and outside the courtroom.

"It's extremely, extremely, emotional very tough seeing her in there," Frost said. "Especially that we all know her innocence and how in fear she was for her life she was in that situation."

During the hearing, both defense and prosecution focused on key topics in the Howard case. This included days leading up to the shooting, timeline during the shooting, and Howard's state of mind.

One piece of evidence presented was a series of Facebook messages and text messages sent from Howard during a three-day period before the shooting of Pitts.

She shared her dislike of Pitts after learning of the sexual abuse allegation against their daughter and a picture she found of the abuse.

In the message, the prosecutor read that Howard said in the messages quote “I can not stand him, I have dreamt of ways of not having him around for years."

Also, she wrote that she wanted to go down there and handle it herself.

Miranda Frost, Howard's oldest daughter, says that part of the messages presented was an exchange between her and Howard.

"What she meant by handling it in her way was by confronting him and showing him the photos that she had regarding what happened to my sister," Frost said.

The defense argues that Howard did not have a "master plan as prosecutors are saying." Also, she took the gun for protection due to past alleged domestic abuse by Pitts.

Howard alleges that she shot Pitts because he was driving towards her on a quad.

"I still think we have a strong case of self-defense and I think that there is a lot of darkness that still needs to be brought to light," Frost said. "I think that there are a lot of good facts and evidence that shows how good my mom truly is and she did everything correct."

Despite the outcome of going to trial Frost says she is overall pleased with the fairness during testimony.

"Some of the testimony and witnesses' answers have been pretty fair," said Frost daughter. "I am glad to hear that there are people in this case who are willing to give an unbiased opinion of the events."

Howard's defense also requested a reduction in her $1 million bail which a hearing is scheduled for a week from today. Her family is still hopeful.

"She’s my best friend in this world she has taught me everything I know so far," said Frost .

Howard is scheduled to head back to court on September 11th for a bail hearing and then arraigned on September 16th.