Bakersfield, California 2020-10-23 20:39:00 –
National and local supporters of survivors of domestic violence gathered in front of the Kern County High Court on Friday morning, and the District Attorney’s Office prosecuted two women in Kern County, Michael Bowers and Wendy Howard. Requested to withdraw. A group of more than 40 female advocates and supporters argue that women only protect themselves from their partners in order to survive and are victims of the judicial system.
“You are an extension of her abuser,” said Tanesha Ash-Shakoor, founder of the Voices of Color, who flew from Michigan in protest.
Bowers is currently serving a six-year sentence in a state prison. She accepted a voluntary manslaughter judicial transaction in September after a jury hung in two previous trials. Howard appeared at a rally with her family and spoke after learning that her trial would be postponed to March.
“This is one of the hardest things I’ll experience. We’re ready to heal,” she told the crowd, including her children and grandchildren. “I’m ready to withdraw these bills.”
She has been accused of murdering Kelly Reese Pitts, 59. Howard’s supporters say they were acting to protect themselves and their daughter, who were allegedly sexually abused by Pitts. Howard said Pitts had previously attempted to rape and kill her, according to police reports filed in court. Californians do not generally name victims of sex crimes, but in this case they speak publicly.
DA spokesman Joseph Kinzel said a court order prevented him from addressing the details of Howard’s case.
Bowers’ son, Olin Bailey, wrote a statement on behalf of his mother, who was read at the rally.
“During both trials, the prosecutor was unable to provide a reliable witness to my mother, but said my mother was certainly a victim of domestic violence,” the statement said. read. “But the prosecutor insisted on keeping my mother imprisoned and showed a lot of enthusiasm and commitment to keep prosecuting her despite two suspicions. It’s a clear example of encouraging my mother to accept a judicial transaction. “
Kinsel said the evidence of domestic violence presented in the trial was a misdemeanor in the 1999s and mid-2000s, not leading to the arrest or conviction of Raymond Ingram.
“The domestic violence incident decades ago did not give anyone permission to kill, and killing for revenge or anger is not self-defense,” Kinsel said. “Mr. Bowers pleaded guilty to manslaughter, accepted penalties for unlawful killings, and learned of the next six years’ imprisonment, in which she had all the elements of the crime, including the absence of killings. Admitted. It was done by self-defense. “
The protests were put together by a national group of Survived & Punished.