Star witness in murder-for-hire trial: 'I knew they wanted someone dead at that house'

Star witness in murder-for-hire trial: 'I knew they wanted someone dead at that house' - 6 p.m.
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) - A man accused of being a getaway driver in an alleged murder-for-hire plot took the stand for the prosecution Thursday morning.

Corey Knox testified as part of a deal with the district attorney's office. He took the stand in the West Baton Rouge Parish courtroom at 9 a.m. He was the third person of interest in the murder case.

Monique Kitts and Karl Howard are on trial for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Kitts is accused of hiring Howard to kill her husband, Corey Kitts, for more than $500,000 of an insurance policy.

Corey Kitts was found dead inside his home in Addis in July 2010. Investigators said he had been shot three times at point-blank range. Knox told the jury he and Howard are friends and about a month before Corey Kitts was killed, there were conversations between the two about Howard killing someone.

"I got a phone call one day," Knox testified. "Karl Howard called and asked me if I wanted to make some money. I said, 'Yeah.' He said somebody wanted someone dead. I said, 'Hell no.'"

About one month after that call, Knox said Howard called him saying he was having car problems and for Knox to meet him on Plank Road. Once there, Knox testified that Howard said he needed to go pick up somebody and they drove together in a Dodge Durango to Kitts' home. When asked if Knox knew someone died at that home, he said, "I knew they wanted someone dead at that house, but I didn't think he had the heart to do it. That's why he asked me to do it."

The trial is expected to wrap up Friday.

There was controversy over whether to allow Knox to take the stand because the defense said prosecutor Tony Clayton did not notify them that they had reached a deal with Knox in exchange for his testimony. The law says the defense must be notified within 24 hours and attorneys said didn't find out for a week. The judge allowed Knox to take the stand.

David Johnson, who is believed to be the "go-between" to find a contract killer for Monique Kitts was allegedly in a relationship with Monique. He gave his testimony Tuesday and Wednesday.

Defense attorneys tried to prove he was inconsistent in everything he said during his testimony and that he is only talking now because he struck a deal with prosecutors.

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