BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The eldest daughter of Wendy Howard took the witness stand Wednesday at her mother’s trial and testified to the sexual abuse she suffered from the man her mother shot and killed in 2019.
Howard is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kelly Rees Pitts, 57, who allegedly molested two of Howard’s daughters, and other girls.
Miranda Frost said there were numerous incidents of abuse perpetrated by Pitts, whom her mother dated in the early 2000s, starting just before she turned 12. She said she also witnessed multiple incidents where Pitts physically abused her mother.
She reported the abuse in 2006 but no charges were filed. That exasperated her. She cried as she told the jury how the molestation impacted her life.
Thirteen years later, Frost learned her younger sister, Bayley Frost, was being molested by Pitts. Pitts was Bayley Frost’s father.
Miranda Frost said she called authorities. She told her mother it was the right thing to do and said confronting Pitts was a bad idea.
Nevertheless, prosecutor Eric Smith has said, that’s exactly what Howard did three days later outside her home, where she shot Pitts three times. Howard told police she acted in self-defense but Smith said the evidence will show Pitts was not facing Howard when the shots were fired.
Miranda Frost testified police first came to her mother’s home on Appaloosa Court in Tehachapi on June 2, 2019, then took her, his sister and mother to the police station to be interviewed. Pitts lived three houses away and Miranda Frost said she and her mother had concerns he might retaliate if he figured out police had been called because of him.
During her testimony, Smith displayed photos of text messages she and her mother sent between June 2 and June 5, 2019 — the day Pitts was shot.
“If I go up there with photos he may say something,” Howard wrote of confronting Pitts in a message dated June 2. In another message, she wrote “Pitts is more bark than bite” and “too stupid” to do anything.
Miranda Frost testified she and her mother were brainstorming on what they should do. She said Howard is a fan of true crime shows and was trying to figure out how to get evidence against Pitts.
Hearing a second daughter had been molested by her ex left her “intense” and “super edgy,” Howard wrote.
The trial is in its second day and is expected to last several weeks. Howard faces up to 50 years to life if convicted.