FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — An appellate court has upheld the voluntary manslaughter conviction of a Bakersfield woman who shot a man outside a house party.
Krystal Wandick, 32, argued on appeal there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt she was the person who shot and killed 31-year-old Albert Luis King.
In an opinion published Tuesday, the Fifth District Court of Appeal found “ample evidence” from which a jury could decide Wandick was the killer.
“Wandick had a motive to kill King,” according to the opinion. “They had argued at the party and were arguing in the street just before he was shot. Wandick also admitted overhearing a derogatory remark made by King about her and (her boyfriend).”
Additionally, Wandick was standing directly in front of and arguing with King when a bullet struck him in the chest, the opinion says.
Given the court’s decision, Wandick will continue to serve the 21-year prison term to which she was sentenced. She comes up for parole in May 2034.
According to investigative reports filed in Kern County Superior Court, Wandick and several friends attended a house party March 17, 2017 in south Bakersfield. The party was held in territory claimed by the Crips gang.
During the party, Wandick and King argued. She shoved him in the face and he grabbed her by the throat. Others at the party quickly separated them.
It’s possible they argued over Wandick bringing her boyfriend, a Bloods gang member, to a party in a rival gang’s territory.
The party began to wind down about a half hour later.
As people started leaving, Wandick and her boyfriend asked for a ride back to her grandmother’s house. They began driving away, but Wandick asked the driver to turn around.
Upon returning to the party, Wandick got out of the car. She briefly argued with King in the front yard before pulling a gun and firing a single shot into his chest. King collapsed. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.
Wandick ran back to the car. As it sped off, someone opened fire. The rear window shattered and a bullet struck the passenger side headrest.
Detectives arrested Wandick five days later in Oildale. She was in hiding because she believed people were going to kill her for King’s shooting.
A jury acquitted Wandick of murder in December 2017 but convicted her of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm on a person.