Suspected hitman takes stand in alleged murder-for-hire trial - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Suspected hitman takes stand in alleged murder-for-hire trial

Karl Howard (Source: WAFB) Karl Howard (Source: WAFB)
PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) -

The alleged killer in a murder-for-hire trial was on the stand all morning and will be back on the stand after lunch, under cross examination from the prosecution.

The morning started with Karl Howard being questioned by his public defender, Tommy Thompson. Howard gave mostly yes or no answers. Thompson asked him several times:

Did she (Monique Kitts) ever offer you money to kill Corey Kitts?

Did she ever ask you to find someone to kill Corey Kitts?

Did you ever tell David Johnson you tried to kill Corey Kitts?

Did you tell him Monique Kitts gave you a key to the house?

"No sir," Howard answered to all of the questions.

"I've never been inside that house. I saw it. Drove by when it was being built," Howard testified.

Howard said police had him fill out a questionnaire and on it, he was asked if he was aware of the murder, to which he said he was. When detectives questioned where he was at the time of the murder, he said he was at his niece's birthday party. Earlier, the child's mother testified Howard showed up to the party at some point, but didn't stay long. She also testified Karl Howard told her to tell police he was with her all day.

Under cross examination from Monique Kitts' attorney, Allen Myles, Howard told the jury that police had questioned him since 2011, but he was not swabbed for DNA until July 2014.

Prosecutor Tony Clayton began his questioning before the lunch break. Using a calendar from 2010, he highlighted the times during the year when Howard traveled from Georgia to Baton Rouge: April 2-3, June 8-9 and July 7-9. Clayton said Corey Knox, the alleged getaway driver, testified that in April he and Howard were casing out the Kitts' home together. Howard said that is not true. Clayton then showed evidence that Howard's phone was hitting on a cell tower near the Kitts' home. Howard said he was with Monique Kitts at that time, visiting. Clayton then pointed out cell phone records show 25 communications between Howard and Kitts.

"Y'all were texting each other and you're sitting right next to each other?" Clayton asked.

During Howard's June visit, Clayton said that is when Corey Kitts called police about a suspicious red car in front of his house. At the time, Karl Howard drove a red car. Clayton said while Corey Kitts was calling 911 about the car, both Howard's and Monique Kitts' cell records put them near each other, in the area. Howard said he was at the daiquiri shop not far from the Kitts' home.

"Was that the night you tried to kill him (Corey Kitts) and were unsuccessful?" Clayton asked.

He added the next morning, phone records again indicate that Kitts and Howard were together at 6 a.m.

"Why did you have to meet with her again that morning" Clayton asked.

Howard is charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the shooting death of Corey Kitts of Addis.

Monique Kitts is also charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. She is accused of hiring Howard to kill her husband for more than $500,000 of an insurance policy.

Corey Kitts was found dead inside his home in Addis. Investigators said he had been shot three times at point-blank range.

Knox allegedly drove Howard to the Kitts' home on the morning of the murder. He was the star witness for the prosecution and will go on trial at a later date.

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