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Sunday, February 13, 2011

14 Year Old Tylar Witt,Sentenced To 20 years In Prison

El Dorado judge to decide how girl will be tried in homicide case


Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 - 9:00 am
One day after her 15th birthday, Tylar Marie Witt took the witness stand Thursday, and her testimony behind closed doors left lawyers arguing vehemently over her complicity in her mother's brutal killing.

Following her account of the events culminating in the stabbing death of Joanne M. Witt, 47, in their El Dorado Hills home, El Dorado Superior Court Judge James Wagoner said he needed a break to contemplate whether Witt should be tried as an adult or in juvenile court – where a conviction could bring a far lighter sentence. He said he would issue his ruling Tuesday.

"I can think of no decision graver that I've ever had to make," the judge said.

Witt and her boyfriend, Steven Paul Colver, 19, are charged with murdering Witt's mother in June, after the mother filed a statutory rape report against Colver and gave sheriff's deputies what she said was her daughter's diary, which detailed the couple's sexual encounters.

At Thursday's hearing, Defense attorney Mark Ralphs argued Witt was a love-struck teen who was "sexually exploited" by Colver and led by him down a path that culminated in Joanne Witt's murder.

Prosecutor Lisette Suder portrayed Tylar Witt as vengeful and manipulative, the mastermind behind her mother's killing.

Suder argued the girl's role in the crime became clear when, according to detectives, she told a friend that on the day Joanne Witt was killed, she spiked her mother's drink with Vicodin so she would pass out, then called Colver to come over. Toxicology reports later revealed Valium – not Vicodin – in her mother's system.

The public was barred from watching Witt's testimony, but attorneys discussed her remarks in open court in making their dueling presentations to the judge about whether she should be tried as an adult.

"You heard her testimony," defense attorney Ralphs told the judge. "You heard how she was manipulated. You heard how she was exploited. You heard how she was used.

"I make no excuses for her conduct, only to say that it was the conduct of a 14-year-old child."

Ralphs said his client "did take the stand and did acknowledge her role" in events that led to her mother's death. But he argued that Colver played the lead role, contending he stole a butcher knife – the alleged murder weapon – from a restaurant where he worked.

Prosecutors allege Colver stabbed Joanne Witt multiple times and slashed her throat. He has pleaded not guilty.

Suder told the judge that Tylar Witt, in her testimony, acted "like she had no idea what was going to happen" until Colver arrived the night of the murder. But she noted that, on cross-examination, the girl conceded she was upset with her mother and wanted "to get rid of her."

Suder pointed to a short story investigators say Witt wrote shortly after the killing. Titled "The Killer and his Raven," the story recounts the tale of two young lovers inspired to kill after their dreams were "shattered" by a woman who handed over her teenage girl's romantic journal to police.

Authorities say the story parallels a real-life event in which Joanne Witt gave her daughter's diary to El Dorado County sheriff's investigators. According to court testimony, Joanne Witt did so as part of her statutory rape allegation against Colver, after her daughter refused to admit the two were having sex.


It goes on to detail a murder plot.

"Late one night, her mother was drunk as usual," the story reads in part. "She spiked her drink with herbs from the forest. Then she called her man, her 19-year-old man, and at 1 in the morning she snuck him into her bedroom, leading him to her, and he stabbed her in her sleep, killing her, freeing themselves."

Mary Witt, Tylar's aunt by marriage, also testified at the hearing, saying Tylar never knew her father. She said she took the girl in for a time when she was 4 at the behest of child welfare authorities because Tylar had been abused.

Suder said that was earlier this year, after the girl struck her mother and then called 911. She said Tylar Witt claimed to be her mother and said she was drunk and needed to be arrested.

Ralphs said the phone call underscored her lack of maturity.

Arguing for her to be tried as a adult, Suder said Witt "has many of the character traits of a sociopath." She said the girl is "not somebody who should be walking free at 25" – her age of release if convicted in juvenile court.

July 27,2009
Prosecutors filed a motion today to try 14-year-old Tylar Marie Witt as an adult in the homicide of her mother in El Dorado County.

We havefiled fitness petition for her to be deemed not fit for juvenile court," said El Dorado Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Clark.

By Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 - One day after
her 15th Birthday,
Tylar Marie Witt took the witness stand Thursday, and her testimony behind closed doors left lawyers arguing vehemently over her complicity in her mother's brutal killing.

Following her account of the events culminating in the stabbing death of Joanne M. Witt, 47, in their El Dorado Hills home, El Dorado Superior Court Judge James Wagoner said he needed a break to contemplate whether Witt should be tried as an adult or in juvenile court – where a conviction could bring a far lighter sentence. He said he would issue his ruling Tuesday.

"I can think of no decision graver that I've ever had to make," the judge said.
(*Prosecutor Lisette Suder portrayed Tylar Witt as vengeful and manipulative, the mastermind behind her mother's killing.)

Suder argued the girl's role in the crime became clear when, according to detectives, she told a friend that on the day Joanne Witt was killed, she spiked her mother's drink with Vicodin so she would pass out, then called Colver to come over. Toxicology reports later revealed Valium – not Vicodin – in her mother's system.

The public was barred from watching Witt's testimony, but attorneys discussed her remarks in open court in making their dueling presentations to the judge about whether she should be tried as an adult.

"You heard her testimony," defense attorney Ralphs told the judge. "You heard how she was manipulated. You heard how she was exploited. You heard how she was used.

Ralphs said his client "did take the stand and did acknowledge her role" in events that led to her mother's death. But he argued that Colver played the lead role, contending he stole a butcher knife – the alleged murder weapon – from a restaurant where he worked.

Prosecutors allege Colver stabbed Joanne Witt multiple times and slashed her throat. He has pleaded not guilty.

Suder told the judge that Tylar Witt, in her testimony, acted "like she had no idea what was going to happen" until Colver arrived the night of the murder. But she noted that, on cross-examination, the girl conceded she was upset with her mother and wanted "to get rid of her."


It goes on to detail a murder plot.

"Late one night, her mother was drunk as usual," the story reads in part. "She spiked her drink with herbs from the forest. Then she called her man, her 19-year-old man, and at 1 in the morning she snuck him into her bedroom, leading him to her, and he stabbed her in her sleep, killing her, freeing themselves."

Mary Witt, Tylar's aunt by marriage, also testified at the hearing, saying Tylar never knew her father. She said she took the girl in for a time when she was 4 at the behest of child welfare authorities because Tylar had been abused.

Suder said that was earlier this year, after the girl struck her mother and then called 911. She said Tylar Witt claimed to be her mother and said she was drunk and needed to be arrested.

Ralphs said the phone call underscored her lack of maturity.

(Arguing for her to be tried as a adult, Suder said Witt "has many of the character traits of a sociopath." She said the girl is "not somebody who should be walking free at 25" – her age of release if convicted in juvenile court.
(The prosecutor said she was pleased that Witts – a smart, manipulative woman" – will stand trial as an adult)

Aug. 17Th 2010

Witt murder case: Plot thickens for suspects
Mother Lode News

The courtroom drama surrounding a short story written by 15-year-old accused murderer Tylar Marie Witt took yet another turn Monday afternoon.



The duo is suspected of killing Wit't's mother, Joanne, in her El Dorado Hills home in 2009. Authorities allege Joanne was stabbed to death because she had planned on reporting Colver for statutory rape after finding both defendants together, naked.

Prosecutors believe the short story is more than a simple fantasy tale penned by a lovestruck murder suspect

Later, the mother is sedated with herbs from the forest before being killed by the teems.

Earlier this year Colver's defense attorney, Dain Weiner, filed a motion to sever based on his client's Sixth Amendment rights. Weiner argued that statements made by Witt, if used as evidence, would unfairly incriminate Colver and said the defendants should be tried separately.

The story itself is speculative in nature, Weiner said. ÒThe prosecution argued at a prior hearing that this was a play-by-play of what happened…. It's not.

On June 14 Superior Court Judge Kenneth Melikian ruled that the only way the defendants would be tried separately or with different juries would be if the prosecution introduced ÒThe Killer and his RavenÓ in its case.

But a motion filed by Suder last month argued that new legal precedent would allow the story to be introduced as evidence

After the hearing the attorneys met with members of the media.
Sudert declined to comment on the potential difficulty of picking a jury.

Although Tylar was 14 when the alleged murder took place, she will be tried as an adult. She has pleaded (not guilty by reason of insanity.)
She received 20 years as a plea and testified againt the co-defendant.
( http://www.aolnews.com/2010/02/05/15-year-old-enters-insanity-plea-in-moms-murder/)

2 comments:

  1. Omg I used to babysit her when she was younger I'm glad she got twenty years it should have been longer

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apparently all of her classmates knew her as an out-of-control young teen who was experimenting with drugs as young as twelve and long before she met her boyfriend, Colver. She makes a case for proving that people can be born bad or be born evil. The thought that she can be out on the streets again at any age is very frightening. She certainly was the mastermind of murdering her mother. Evil woman is Tylar Witt.

    ReplyDelete