BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — At the age of 17, she moved in with her boyfriend in Tehachapi.
At first, things were fine. But once the boyfriend started leaving her home alone with his father, Kelly Rees Pitts, she was subjected to dozens of instances of inappropriate behavior, she said.
Pitts exposed himself and touched himself in her presence, made inappropriate comments, brushed against her and otherwise made her uncomfortable, the woman said, struggling to hold back tears during her testimony on the third day of Wendy Howard’s murder trial.
She is one of several women who allege Pitts — fatally shot by Howard in 2019 — either molested or otherwise acted inappropriately around them when they were underage.
Two of those women are Howard’s daughters, and Howard has said she shot Pitts when she feared for her life after confronting home over molesting her daughter Bayley Frost, then a teenager. The prosecution, however, says Pitts wasn’t facing Howard and didn’t pose a threat when shot three times outside her Tehachapi home.
Howard is charged with first-degree murder and faces a life term in prison if convicted. The trial began Tuesday and is expected to last several weeks.
On Thursday the woman, who testified through Zoom, said she didn’t report Pitts’ behavior to police because she didn’t think they would believe her. She said Pitts was well-liked by some and was friends with several officers.
Pitts’ son didn’t believe her when she told him about his father’s behavior, she said.
Pitts’ behavior made her feel “disgusting,” she said. She said she barricaded her bedroom door with a dresser every night so Pitts couldn’t sneak in, but she would hear him outside the door.
The final straw occurred when Pitts tried to follow her into her room, she said. Fearing Pitts would try to rape her, she called a neighbor who rushed over and found Pitts with his pants down, she said.
The neighbor stood by while she collected some belongings and left the house. She moved in with the neighbor and is now married to him.
The trial resumes Friday morning.