A group of national and local advocates renewed their call for the Kern County District Attorney to drop the murder charge against Wendy Howard a few hours before her trial began Tuesday because they said Howard suffered domestic violence from a former boyfriend and fatally shot him in self-defense.

“We're here today to call upon (Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer) as a wife, as a mother, who would defend her family the very same way, to drop all charges,” advocate Courtney Morris said at a group rally in front of Kern County Superior Court.