Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Tehachapi woman who said she shot and killed her ex-boyfriend in self-defense back in 2019 agreed to a plea deal Friday morning.
A jury last October found Wendy Howard not guilty of first and second-degree murder.
Even though the jury found her not guilty of first and second-degree murder, it was deadlocked on the involuntary manslaughter charge.
In court this morning she agreed to accept the charges but admits no wrongdoing. Wendy Howard Defense Committee, the group advocating on her behalf believes the district attorney coerced her into taking the plea.
The group released a statement that says in part, “The DA appears to be making decisions based only on protecting a conviction rate rather than protecting constituents. This is a strategy without integrity. This office has threatened a victim of domestic violence who acted in self-defense, and four other victims who this man terrorized, with a second re-traumatizing trial.”
The committee says she accepted the no-contest plea deal not because she is guilty but so Howard and her family can move on.
We are disappointed that the motion to dismiss was denied and that the Kern County DA refused to drop the last remaining charge of voluntary manslaughter, a charge which has questionable legal legitimacy at best given the unprecedented outcome of the trial. Wendy is a 53-year-old grandmother and mother who defended her life against a man who had a long history and documented record of severe domestic violence and child sexual abuse. He created a world of terror for his own family as well as other girls in the community. The DA failed to keep Tehachapi residents safe from his violence, including Wendy and her family. Instead of accounting for their failure to keep the public safe, they chose to go after a woman who was trying to stay alive in an attack that they could have prevented.
Article Published By KBAK, https://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/plea-deal-reached-in-wendy-howard-case