Opening statements underway in alleged murder-for-hire trial - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Opening statements underway in alleged murder-for-hire trial

Monique Kitts (Source: WAFB) Monique Kitts (Source: WAFB)
Karl Howard (Source: West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office) Karl Howard (Source: West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) -

Two suspects accused in a 2010 murder-for-hire case, one of them being the victim's wife, were in a West Baton Rouge Parish courtroom on Monday for the start of their trial.

Monique Kitts and Karl Howard are charged in connection with the 2010 murder of Corey Kitts.

The prosecution gave its opening statement first and then, it was the defense's turn. The defense was still giving its opening statement as of noon. Judge Robin Free is presiding over the case.

The attorney for suspected shooter Karl Howard said his client, who lived in Atlanta in 2010, is from Baton Rouge and on the day of the murder, had returned to the area to visit his family and because he “wanted to find a girl to spend a nights with.” The attorney also told jurors he wants them to listen to who testifies in the case, who “snitches” and pay attention to what evidence the prosecution has.

The attorney for Monique Kitts, the wife of Corey Kitts, who is accused of putting out the murder-for-hire scheme against her husband, had not yet given his opening statement as of noon.

Tony Clayton is the prosecutor in the case. At the end of his opening statement, he pointed to Monique Kitts and told the jury, "Did she pull the trigger? No. But she is guilty of murder." He then looked directly at Monique Kitts and said, "Monique Kitts, you are guilty."

He added the case is over $549,000 of insurance money that Monique Kitts and the other two suspects stood to split up once the murder was complete. Monique Kitts faces a charge of second-degree murder. Howard is charged with first-degree murder.

The trial is expected to last through Friday.

Corey Knox, a third person charged in the case, will be tried separately. He is also charged with first-degree murder.

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