Local News

Friday, Apr 26 2013 06:10 PM

Strangled woman had been arrested in gunshot incident

BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

A woman found dead in her Bakersfield home in December who was determined to have been fatally strangled is the same woman who was arrested in 2011 in connection with shooting at her then-boyfriend.

The woman, who legally changed her name to "Cami" and did not have a last name, was 55 years old and lived in the 11000 block of Open Trail Road, a coroner's office news release issued Friday said. She was found dead at 5:55 p.m. Dec. 14.

Bakersfield police are investigating the crime but could offer no new details Friday. Sgt. Joe Grubbs said he could not comment on whether there are any suspects in the woman's death.

In September 2011, Cami had been arrested in the 11000 block of Open Trail Road after a man accused her of firing a handgun at him, according to police.

After the incident, police said, Cami drove away. Her vehicle was later found behind Oaks Community Church at 10200 Campus Park Drive. Witnesses said Cami had entered the church, which had a preschool in session.

Preschool staff escorted the children to a safe area while officers entered, police said. They found Cami in a prayer room and arrested her on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic abuse and negligent discharge of a gun.

Prosecutors charged her with those offenses, but the charges were dismissed in May 2011, court records show.

According to a transcript of the preliminary hearing, the man who was Cami's apparent target testified that he was on painkillers that day and couldn't recall much of what happened. He repeatedly said the events of that day seemed like a dream.

A police officer testified that the victim reported being woken up by Cami, who said she was buying a plane ticket to visit her father in Texas because he was sick. She and the victim, who had been dating about a year, argued and she told him to leave.

The officer said the victim reported that Cami threw his clothes on the ground, and he went into the garage to get dressed, according to the reports. Cami entered the garage and threw french fries and Tater Tots at him.

She left, only to return armed with a .357-caliber handgun, the officer said in the reports. The victim told the officer Cami fired the gun at him, although the officer said the bullet fragment was found 10 to 15 feet away from where the victim said he had been standing.

Cami told police the victim had assaulted her, but there were no marks found on her, the officer said in the reports.

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