Hannah Tubbs, a trans convicted child molester, faces a possible life sentence for the murder of a fellow "survivalist transient group" member, Kern County's District Attorney's Office said Monday, after she was leniently charged in a sexual assault case by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.
Tubbs was the second-ranking leader of the group when she was charged with killing fellow member Michael Clark, who prosecutors say she repeatedly bludgeoned with a rock in April 2019.
On Monday, Superior Court of Kern County Judge Brian M. McNamara found prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to allow Tubbs to face a first-degree murder charge and a potential life sentence, KGET reported.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva took to Twitter to praise the Kern County District Attorney's office for "holding Tubbs accountable." He also slammed Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón for failing to do so.
Outstanding job by the @kerncountyda for holding Tubbs accountable! Unlike the @ladaoffice, George Gascon, who refused to move Tubbs to adult court. Thanks to the Kern County DA, Tubbs faces life in prison if convicted on the current murder charge. https://t.co/MRfDohJfVs pic.twitter.com/Xlmpr7LfdF— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) May 24, 2022
Until last month, Tubbs was servicing a two-year sentence after the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Tubbs as an adult for a sexual assault case in 2014, months before she turned 18.
Her previous case was processed by LA DA George Gascón, and she was later sentenced to just two years in prison in a Los Angeles County juvenile facility.
The lenient sentence drew community backlash, including criticism from Shea Sanna, the Los Angeles County prosecutor who was the lead prosecutor on the case before he was removed.
"Very rarely is Tubbs in compliance with anything," he previously told Fox News. "And now we have an extremely violent, dangerous, unremorseful child predator on the verge of being released, and my boss does not care."
During the hearing Monday, multiple witnesses testified that Tubbs admitted to beating Clark with the rock.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Davis testified that witnesses told him Tubbs stole money from Clark and that the two had a verbal argument on the evening of April 20, 2019. The following day, the two individuals went for a walk and only Tubbs returned, KGET reported.
Davis also said two campers of the Keyesville campground, where the survivalist group was staying, Josef Buffaloe and Brittany Hill, told law enforcement Tubbs hated Clark and that she killed him to protect them, according to the report.
Buffaloe also said Tubbs threatened to kill him if he mentioned what happened to Clark, Davis said, per the report.
Tubbs also admitted to being involved in the action that resulted in his death, telling officers: "it had gone too far," Sgt. Mark Chambless said Monday. He also noted the death may have been the result of an accident, KGET reported.
Defense attorney Kate Lee said conflicting testimonies between witnesses has produced at least 18 theories as to the series of events resulting in Clark's death. She said a conviction was unlikely, according to the report.
"I think the whole case is such a mess I don’t think the people can get a conviction on this," Lee said, KGET reported.
Tubbs has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. Her criminal record includes battery, drug possession, assault with a deadly weapon, and sexual assault before she turned 18.
Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.