Woman walks in gun case | TheUnion.com

Woman walks in gun case

The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to file attempted murder charges against a Nevada City woman arrested and released in recent weeks.

Either today or Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Kull will dismiss the case against Tari Lynn Stites, Kull said Monday.

Stites, 34, was arrested Dec. 20 for shooting her housemate, 46-year-old Richard Ernst.

Kull said both Stites and the purported victim have said since Stites’ arrest that the shooting was accidental.

“In looking at this case … it became very clear that what initially was, wasn’t,” Kull said.

In an earlier interview with The Union, Ernst said the pair quarreled Dec. 20 because he wanted to move out. He said he went to bed to stop the fighting that night and then found Stites standing over him with a gun.

Kull said that when Ernst saw Stites with the gun, he thought she was going to shoot herself, so he reached for it. He said he was shot in the process of trying to get the gun, Kull said.

“The victim is adamant this was an accident,” Kull said. “His movement to get the gun away from her … fired the gun.”

Stites was released from jail three days after her arrest because she was not brought to court in time, and District Attorney Michael Ferguson said at the time that his office was going to investigate the case further.

“The victim feels very strongly she should not be prosecuted,” Kull said.

Kull said the two are no longer living together but have “friendly relations.”

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