Victims advocate group calls for DA Zimmer to drop charges in Howard and Bowers cases
Domestic Violence Awareness rally marches outside DA Cynthia Zimmer's office, demanding she drop the charges in the Michaele Bowers and Wendy Howard cases, Oct. 2020. (KBAK/KBFX photo){p}{/p}

A victims’ advocate group gathered outside the Kern County Superior Court Friday morning demanding District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer drop the charges against Wendy Howard and Michaele Bowers.

The group was holding a Domestic Violence Awareness Month rally.

Local advocates, organizations, and survivors of domestic violence shared stories and chanted for the release of Michaele Bowers and to drop the charges of Wendy Howard – two women who killed their alleged abusers and were charged with murder.

Colby Lenz, founder of Survived + Punished, organized Friday’s rally. She said the system often fails victims of domestic abuse.

“They are survivors who act in self-defense, they are victims of violence, they do not need to be prosecuted. They need to be returned to our communities and our families,” Lenz said.

Michaele Bowers shot and killed her longtime boyfriend in 2017. She was tried for murder twice and both trials ended in hung juries.

Bowers pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in Sep. and is awaiting sentencing.

Wendy Howard shot and killed her ex outside her Tehachapi home last year. She pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but has yet to have her day in court.

Howard’s trial was originally set to begin in Nov but was delayed until March.

Both women say they were the victims of domestic abuse which lead them to kill their abusers.

Their cases are the battle cry for those who say the system is set up to force abuse victims to decide between their lives and their abusers' lives.

The rally group ended their demonstration with a march to DA Zimmer’s office.

DA Zimmer declined to comment on this story.

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