Monique Kitts cries out after hearing guilty verdict in murder o - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Monique Kitts cries out after hearing guilty verdict in murder of husband

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

Thursday evening, around 5:30, a cry of distress rang out in the West Baton Rouge courthouse. The yelp came from Monique Kitts as a jury found her guilty of her husband's murder. Kitts was convicted of second degree murder and conspiracy to commit second degree murder along with her coconspirator Karl Howard.

That same moment, witnessed in front of a packed courtroom, was one of relief for the family of the victim, Corey Kitts.

"We feel like justice has been served and we thank God and the prosecution team," said Corey's sister Clonise Stewart.

Corey's mother and sister shared embraces of joy in front of the courthouse after four years of grief and a nearly monthlong trial. Moments before their celebration, the convicted killers were taken into custody and escorted away.

"They will spend the rest of their lives in prison. He will die in Angola and she will die in Hunt's lady's prison," said prosecutor Tony Clayton. "Crime doesn't pay."

In July 2010 Corey was shot and killed in his Addis home. Monique was accused of hiring Howard as the trigger man in order to cash in on more than half a million dollars in insurance money.

In what amounted to an off and on trial with several breaks in testimony, the jury took nearly eight hours to sift through tales of adultery, conspiracy, and murder. Their guilty verdicts were unanimous.

Still digesting the jury's decision, Kitts' defense attorney seemed stunned.

"The verdict did not match the evidence. It's very difficult for anybody to understand that," said defense attorney Allen Myles.

Clayton, however, was confident after testimony from his key witness struck what he called a devastating blow to the defense. That witness, Corey Knox, was the alleged getaway driver in the murder. He testified against the convicted duo as a part of a plea deal. Clayton says he will now offer Knox a lesser charge of accessory after the fact.

However in the wake of trial's ending, even the prosecution had to acknowledge the painful journey remaining for the children of Corey and Monique Kitts.

"She was involved in taken their Dad's life and she caused herself to be out of their lives. We got to be saddened by that. Hopefully that family can heal," said Clayton.

Below is the information from previous days in the trial.


Nov. 19, 2014

Closing arguments got underway Wednesday in the alleged murder-for-hire trial in West Baton Rouge Parish. This trial is in week four with many witnesses and there's plenty of drama.

Family members of Corey Kitts left the courtroom in tears after the jury was shown a picture of Corey Kitts after the murder. His mother cried out "they did you bad Corey, they did you bad, man."

Prosecutor Tony Clayton rehashed the state's case for just shy of an hour. He said in 2011, Monique Kitts had a contract with Karl Howard to kill her husband. On why there is no record of when she paid him, Johnson introduced her to Howard.

Clayton says it was Howard who later brought his cousin, Corey Knox, in as the getaway driver. Clayton reminded the jury a trooper heard Kitts say at the murder scene "what have I done?" He also reminded jurors out of 365 days, Kark Howard made three trips from his home in Georgia to Baton Rouge. He says once in April to case the house, once in June when he unsuccessfully tried to kill Corey Kitts, and lastly in July when Kitts was murdered.

Corey was found dead in his Addis home. He had been murdered in his sleep.

Clayton says this case is all over money and greed and that "Monique wanted money. That's what this case is about. If you find them not guilty, they'll get that $800,000 and she will give [Howard] $100,000.

Then following his four-hour closing arguments, Allen Myles, the attorney for Monique kitts, crying as he played the jury the 911 call of his client made from the murder scene. Myles told the jury, what they've heard from prosecutors is a recipe for reasonable doubt.

Court resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday.


Nov. 18, 2014

People were called to the stand Tuesday to testify as character witnesses for the defendants in an alleged murder-for-hire trial. The defense for the man accused of being the gunman, Karl Howard, has rested.

Allen Myles, the defense attorney for Monique Kitts, started the morning off by calling a friend who's known the accused for 20 years. Kitts is charged with second-degree murder. She is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her husband, Corey, in July 2010.

The woman testified that Kitts was distraught after the murder - crying, beet red and screaming her husband's name. The friend testified she knew Kitts to be an honest and truthful person and never heard her say she wanted her husband dead.

On cross examination, prosecutor Tony Clayton asked the woman is she was familiar with a Van Jones. That is the alias Monique Kitts said her husband used in their role play. Clayton introduced evidence of a Van Jones on Facebook. The profile picture was a black square, but the witness was a friend. Clayton asked if she could identify who Van Jones is.

"I don't know," the woman said. "I have 4,000 friends on Facebook."

Prosecutors were not allowed to introduce evidence that Monique Kitts was also a friend of Van Jones. Kitts was later deleted off the Van Jones Facebook page. However, the jury did learn that Van Jones was accepting friends and liking other Facebook pages in August 2010 and in 2011.

"How is that possible if Van Jones is Corey Kitts and Corey Kitts died in July 2010?" Clayton asked.

The witness said she did not know, adding that if she wanted to talk to Corey Kitts, he had his own Facebook page.

The defense also called four other character witnesses. Three testified on behalf of Monique Kitts, saying she was an honest and truthful person. They include: April Myles, who worked at Kitts' daycare, and two clergy members.

One person testified on behalf of Karl Michael Howard, the accused gunman in the case. That person also testified he knew Howard to be an honest and truthful person.

Nine witnesses were called Tuesday.

Judge Robin Free said he was hoping to finish with witnesses testimony today so all the attorneys can begin closing arguments tomorrow and the jury can being their decision making.

The jury also saw a WAFB news clip in which the getaway driver, Cory Knox, was arrested. In the video clip, Knox says the whole situation is a misunderstanding. After showing that, Karl Howard's attorney rested his case.

The defense has rested its case. Closing arguments will begin Wednesday and the jury will then be charged and begin deliberations.


Nov. 17, 2014

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.


Nov. 10, 2014

A murder-for-hire trial enters week three in West Baton Rouge Parish, but shortly after the trial began Monday, the judge ordered a recess for the entire week.

The judge said because a juror's grandfather passed away Sunday night, Veteran's Day is Tuesday and the judge had prior arrangements scheduled for Wednesday through Friday, it would be better to resume the trial on Monday, November 17.

Monique Kitts is accused of hiring a hit man to kill her husband, Corey Kitts, in July 2010.

Monique Kitts took the stand Thursday and denied having anything to do with her husband's murder. She is charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

Karl Howard is the suspected gunman. He is also on trial for second degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. It is unknown if Howard will testify in his defense.

Kitts 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.

Corey Knox is the accused getaway driver in this case who allegedly drove Howard to the Kitts' home on the morning of the murder. He was a witness from the prosecution and told jurors he took his mother's Dodge Durange and backed in the Kitts' driveway the morning of the driveway. When Clayton asked Monique if everything Corey Knox testified was wrong, she replied, "Corey Knox is lying."

The prosecution wrapped up its case Wednesday after calling 19 witnesses over the course of more than a week. The defense will continue their case on Nov. 17.

The prosecution's star witness, Knox, will go on trial at a later date.


Nov. 6, 2014

The woman accused of hiring a hit man to kill her husband has decided to tell the jury her side of the story Thursday.

Monique Kitts took the stand just after 11:15 a.m. in her alleged murder-for-hire trial. She is charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Karl Howard is the suspected gunman. He is also on trial for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. It is unknown if he will testify in his defense. 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.

Did you have your husband killed?

"No sir, I did not," she answered.

Did you pay anyone to have him killed?

"No sir, I did not," she replied.

Did you want him killed?

"No sir, I did not," she said.

Did you ever conspire with anyone to have him killed?

"No sir, I did not," she stated.

Monique Kitts also read two letters she wrote to her husband before the murder, crying as she recited them for the jury. In the first letter, Kitts wrote out her wants and needs to fix their marriage. Below is a list of those items:

Once a month, church as a family

Once a month, spend time alone with kids (become involved in their lives)

No more cursing me

Date night once every 3 months

Show some form of love - hug, kiss, touch

Show a little concern for my feelings and well being

Stop asking where I'm at, but how I'm doing

Sex more often

In the second letter, she described the marriage as, "Now, it's like a job you hate." She said she told him she's a good mother and can make good decisions for them. Kitts was very emotional while reading the letter. While on the stand she also admitted to having an affair with David Johnson. He was the second person to testify for the prosecution and also stated the two had an affair. He told the jury their affair continued after her husband was killed in 2010. However, Monique Kitts testified that the affair started in July 2006 and ended in January 2007.Monique Kitts was also questioned about the alleged robbery at their home a month before the murder. She said her husband arrived home at 5:30 a.m., woke her up and told her there was a strange car in front of the house. She said when they went to check it out, she didn't see anything. She said she later went to work and her husband called her asking about $4,000. She said she told him it was by the bed. She said he called her several more times during the day asking about the money. She testified when he couldn't find it, he said he was calling police. She said officers arrived at the home around 8 p.m. She said she met them in the driveway.

Officer Thomas Southon testified for the prosecution earlier in the trial that Monique Kitts told him she left $4,000 in an envelope next to her sleeping husband and that she didn't want him going inside the house because she didn't want to alarm her daughter by going in the house.

"I've never investigated a burglary or theft where I have not been allowed into the residence," Southon told the jury.

At the time of the suspected robbery investigation, Southon was a 6-year veteran of the Addis Police Department. He also said based on her level of nervousness, it appeared as though something was suspicious. Her defense attorney questioned Monique Kitts about it.

He never asked to come in the house?

"No sir," she answered.

Did you prevent him from coming in the house?

"I would have no reason to prevent him," she replied.

"I took $4,200 out of the bank, kept $200 and $4,000 was for Corey to pay bills with," she later said.

"Dorey (the couple's daughter) found $4,000 in the washing machine," she also said.

She also was asked to give her account of the day of the murder. Kitts told the jury she arrived home around 12:30 p.m. with her two children. She said she first walked to the mailbox and then to the side door.

"I opened the door and there was glass and pennies all over the floor. I called out to him and he didn't answer, which was strange. I go in my bedroom and he's laying there. Corey never sleeps past 12 or 12:30. I went up to the side of the bed and saw blood coming out of his ear. I just panicked," she testified.

Earlier in the trial, Trooper Theodore Savoy with Louisiana State Police testified he heard Monique Kitts say, "My God, what have I done?"

Monique Kitts said she was hysterical after the murder and that what she actually said was, "Oh Lord, what am I going to do now?" She also described her children as, "devastated, shocked, overwhelmed, probably panicking."

Were you expecting to find your husband dead?

"No sir. The last thing I would want is for my children to walk in on their daddy like that," she replied.

A member of the West Baton Rouge Coroner's Office testified earlier in the trial that two DNA samples from two "contributors" were found on Corey Kitts. He said Monique Kitts' DNA was found on her husband's lips and genital area. He added DNA from an unknown person was found on those same parts of his body. The medical worker said the second person is considered a "minor contributor," as there was only a small sample. Monique Kitts' attorney says Corey Kitts was having an affair and that someone else is responsible for his death. He asked his client questions along those lines.

Did you know your husband was having an affair?

"I questioned him and he denied it," Monique Kitts said.

She said she heard he was having six affairs.

In the days after the murder, Kitts said she was "number" and went to mother's home in White Castle. "I felt like it was an out of body experience. This really wasn't happening to us. I remember just laying in bed crying."

The prosecution used cell phone records last week to show Monique Kitts traveled to Atlanta twice after her husband's murder. Thursday, Kitts testified that she did go to Atlanta twice saying the first time, she went to visit her girlfriend alone. Then, the second time, she was helping her niece move and took her children with her. She said she did meet up with Karl Howard in Atlanta and everyone went to Dave & Busters, but said she did not stay with Howard. Instead, she stayed at her girlfriend's.

The defense did not spend much time asking Kitts about her husband's life insurance money or policy. Kitts is accused of hiring Howard to kill her husband for more than $800,000 of his life insurance policy. Monique Kitts testified she did not have any conversations about her husband's life insurance, even though the prosecution's earlier witness Michelle Hickner, a HR manager at Shintech, testified that Kitts was the primary beneficiary on Corey's life insurance policy and that Monique called "a lot" wanting to know specifically about when she would get her life insurance money.

Kitts' attorney Allen Myles asked his client what life was like after her husband's murder.

On cross examination, lead prosecutor Tony Clayton asked Kitts why she never mentioned she missed her husband or her children lost their father. She responded with, "that's obvious."

Clayton spent one hour poking several holes in Kitts' testimony showing even though Monique Kitts said her affair with David Johnson ended in Jan. 2007, they still spoke and texted several times.

Clayton also pointed to a Facebook page under the name of "Van Jones" that Kitts said was her husband's fake page. However, Clayton pointed to a recently added friend saying if he died in 2010, how could he recently have added a friend indicating someone other than Corey Kitts was using that page.

Johnson was one of the first witnesses the prosecution presented and told jurors Monique Kitts wanted him to find someone to kill her husband. To that, Kitts said, "I did not tell David Johnson to find someone to kill my husband."

Corey Knox is the accused getaway driver in this case who allegedly drove Howard to the Kitts' home on the morning of the murder. He was a witness from the prosecution and told jurors he took his mother's Dodge Durange and backed in the Kitts' driveway the morning of the driveway. When Clayton asked Monique if everything Corey Knox testified was wrong, she replied, "Corey Knox is lying."

The defense will continue its case on Monday because there is no trial on Friday.

The prosecution wrapped up its case Wednesday after calling 19 witnesses over the course of more than a week.

The prosecution's star witness, Knox, will go on trial at a later date.


Nov. 5, 2014

The prosecution has rested its case after 19 witnesses and a week and half of testimony in the alleged murder for hire trial in West Baton Rouge Parish.

Now its the defense's turn.

Monique Kitts is accused of hiring Karl Howard to kill her husband in 2010. They are both on trial for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

Proceedings were canceled Tuesday due to the election.

The prosecution called its final witness around 10:15 a.m.

In Monday's testimony, prosecutors said there were 7,900 calls made between Kitts and Howard after the murder, which an average of 88 calls a day.

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.

The prosecution's star witness, Corey Knox, was the alleged getaway driver after the murder. It is unknown whether Kitts or Howard will be called to the stand.


Nov. 3, 2014

Prosecutors say cell phone records show there were more than 88 calls a day made between Monique Kitts and Karl Howard, the alleged hitman she hired to kill her husband.

In Monday's testimony, prosecutors say there were 7900 calls made between Kitts and Howard after the murder, an average of 88 calls a day.

Kitts and 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.

The alleged getaway driver, Corey Knox, says he and Howard went and scoped out the Kitts home twice. And prosecutors showed cell phones records to prove the two were in the area during those times. Additionally, prosecutors say Howard sent Kitts a text on the morning of the murder.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors in a West Baton Rouge Parish alleged murder-for-hire trial called witness No. 16 to the stand. A detective with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. Prior to that witness, two people who work at Shintech were called to the stand. The victim, Corey Kitts, worked there for 10 years before he was murdered. The witnesses told the jury Kitts had nearly $800,000 in insurance money. That included life insurance, accidental death and pension. They added his wife, Monique Kitts was the primary beneficiary.

The trial will recess until Wednesday due to the election. The prosecution is expected to rest its case on Wednesday.

Last week, the prosecution presented 11 witnesses, including its star witness, Corey Knox, the accused getaway driver in the crime. The defense attorney for Monique Kitts did not say whether he plans to call her to the stand.


Oct. 30, 2014

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.


Oct. 29, 2014

The trial for an alleged murder-for-hire plot continued in a West Baton Rouge Parish courtroom on Wednesday.

This has been a rather slow moving trial. Attorneys in the case spent all of last week selecting a jury. The trial started on Monday and so far, the prosecution has only presented four witnesses. .

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.

David Johnson continued to give testimony for the second day in a row. He allegedly was in a relationship with Monique Kitts and is believed to have served as the "go-between" to find a contract killer for Kitts. Defense attorneys are cross-examining him. They are trying to prove he is inconsistent in everything he has been saying and that because he struck a plea deal with prosecutors, he is coming out now.

Corey Knox, the accused getaway driver, was the third person arrested in the murder. He is expected to take the witness stand later in the day.

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 they didn't find out for a week. But Judge Robin Free said Knox will be allowed to take the stand Thursday. The trial will resume at 9 a.m.


Oct. 28, 2014

In day two of a murder for hire trial in Port Allen, prosecutors are trying to establish Monique Kitts is not the family woman her attorney told the jury she was.

Monique Kitts is accused of paying Karl Howard to shoot her husband Corey Kitts in July 2010. Investigators found Corey Kitts had been shot three times in the head while he was asleep in his Addis home.

Kitts' lawyer, Allen Myles, told the jury on Monday his client had one affair but stopped it years before her husband was killed and was trying to get her marriage back on track.

Prosecutor Tony Clayton then called David Johnson to the stand as the second witness in the trial.

Johnson testified he met Kitts when he delivered milk to the daycare she owned. He says they started an affair in 2006, after flirting and exchanging phone numbers.

"I said was this for business or for pleasure. She said you decide," Johnson told the jury.

Johnson says their affair continued after her husband was killed in 2010. And at one point that year, Kitts rented an apartment for him using her maiden name.

An email Kitts sent to Johnson was also shown. It read in part, "thank you for becoming a part of my life. I'm looking forward to the day you become a permanent of my life."

Johnson said there were times when Kitts would joke that she'd be better off without her husband. Not long after, Johnson says she asked him if he knew someone who would kill her husband, Corey Kitts. He says Monique Kitts gave him $2,000 when he told her he knew someone, but Johnson says he kept the money. On another occasion when she asked again if he knew someone, Johnson says he told her yes and was given $1,000. He says he split the money with a friend. Johnson says Kitts printed out her husbands work schedule so he would know when Corey Kitts was home.

Another time Johnson says Kitts again asked if he knew someone who would kill her husband, he said he knew someone for sure. Johnson says Kitts gave him another $1,000.

In 2008, Johnson said she again asked and this time he said a friend named Karl Howard would probably help.

"Did Karl Howard tell you what he did to Corey Kitts?" Clayton asked Johnson.

"He said he killed him," Johnson answered.

Johnson says he spoke with Kitts and Howard when they received a target letter from the District Attorneys Office, telling them they were facing indictment for the murder.

Johnson says at that time, Kitts told him not to tell investigators about their affair.

During the cross examination of Johnson, he testified that one month prior to the July 2010 murder, Karl Howard told him he had tried to kill Corey Kitts, but was unsuccessful.

Following the murder, he said he had another conversation with Howard in which Howard told him, "he went in the house, went to the room Corey was sleeping in, called his name - he started waking up, but didn't really wake up and shot him. He went to run out, the dog was making noise and he started to shoot the dog."

Johnson said Howard also told him he took the gun apart and threw it out the window as he drove back home, to Atlanta, Georgia.

Johnson says he was also told by Howard that Monique Kitts had promised to pay him $100,000 for the murder.

Under cross examination from Kitts' attorney, Johnson admitted he was a deceiver.

Allen Myles asked the witness if he was only at the trial to testify as part of a deal he made with the District Attorney. Johnson said as he understood it, there was no deal unless the information he was giving was accurate and true.

Myles also questioned whether Johnson had any proof that he continued a relationship with Kitts past early 2007, to which Johnson asked, "Does 2010 count?" He then went on to tell the court about a sexual encounter they had, with another woman at Kitts' apartment.

Monique Kitts is charged with second-degree murder. Karl Howard is charged with first-degree murder.

Defense attorneys say Johnson is a deceiver, and a convicted criminal who just didn't want to go back to prison. They say Johnson is only giving this story, to get a deal from the District Attorney.

A third suspect, Cory Knox, who allegedly drove Howard to commit the murder is expected to testify in the trial. Knox will be tried at a later date and is also charged with first degree murder.

Judge Robin Free is presiding over the case, which is expected to last through Friday.


Oct. 27, 2014

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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