Next hearing for Tehachapi woman charged with killing ex postponed to mid-August

Crime Watch

Wendy Howard appeared in court Monday with her attorney, Tony Lidgett.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The next court hearings in the case of a Tehachapi woman charged with shooting her ex to death have been postponed to mid-August.

During a brief hearing Monday before Superior Court Judge Colette M. Humphrey, attorneys in the case said a witness needs to be contacted before Wendy Howard’s preliminary hearing can be held.

Humphrey set the preliminary hearing — where a judge determines whether there is enough evidence to hold someone for trial — on Aug. 19. A pre-preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Howard, 50, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Kelly Rees Pitts, 57, outside her home June 5.

The shooting occurred during an argument in which she confronted him about his alleged molestation of her teenage daughter, according to court documents.

During the argument, Pitts drove his quad toward her and ran over her foot, Howard said in the documents. She said she felt threatened, pulled a handgun from her waistband and shot him.

Pitts suffered a gunshot wound to the center of his upper chest, another through the center of his neck and a bullet graze to his cheek, according to the documents. 

Asked why she didn’t run inside her home after shooting Pitts the first time, Howard said she didn’t know. She thought she should stand her ground, she told police.

In 2006, Howard filed a restraining order against Pitts in which she alleged he abused her. The order was granted, with the court finding “acts of violence have occurred,” according to the document.

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