A woman accused of murder in the death of a 15-year-old Santa Maria girl could have a new attorney by next week.
In San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Wednesday, Rhonda Wisto’s attorney, David Wells, turned over paperwork to Thomas McCormick, who might take over the case. McCormick said that he’d review the paperwork and confirm his commitment to the case by April 5.
Wells said he wants to withdraw because he doesn’t think he would have the energy necessary to represent Wisto.
Wisto is one of five defendants charged with killing Dystiny Myers, whose body was found in a remote Santa Margarita field in September.
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Chief Deputy District Attorney Tim Covello had said at a previous hearing that he was reserving a decision on whether Wisto would face capital charges in the homicide case against her and four others.
Covello has filed a death-penalty charge against defendant Ty Michael Hill.
But Covello won’t seek the death penalty against Wisto or the three other defendants — Jason Adam Greenwell, Frank Jacob York and Cody Lane Miller — who each face a maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole if they are convicted.
Myers’ body was found beaten and burned in a field in Santa Margarita in September, and statements made by some of the defendants to police led to the arrests of the suspects.
Covello did not explain why he wasn’t seeking the death penalty against Wisto and has refused requests for comment outside court, citing a gag order by Judge Barry LaBarbera.
— Nick Wilson