One defendant accused of killing 15-year-old Dystiny Myers nearly two years ago confessed and will testify, and another alleges he was sodomized by a third defendant, according to a court document obtained by The Tribune.
According to a trial brief filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court by prosecutors arguing for multiple juries, defendant Jason Adam Greenwell intends to plead guilty to murder and testify at trial.
The brief contains summaries of statements made by defendants after their arrests and from one defendant at the scene.
Defendant Cody Lane Miller claimed he was cut and sodomized by another defendant, Ty Michael Hill, according to the brief.
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All five defendants have been charged with murder. They are Hill of Santa Maria; Greenwell, Frank Jacob York and Rhonda Maye Wisto (his mother), all of Nipomo; and Miller of Fresno.
Each defendant has pleaded not guilty. Of the five, only Hill faces the death penalty.
Myers’ body was found beaten and burned in Santa Margarita on Sept. 26, 2010.
According to the brief, Miller, who was found near the scene of the crime, made “excited utterances” about the murder to Cal Fire employees before his arrest, later telling them how he came to the area to learn the drug trade.
Miller also told firefighters that Hill cut and raped him at knifepoint, the document states. No time frame was mentioned. Miller said he fled after he was attacked by the other defendants.
“Throughout his treatment at the Parkhill burn site (where Myers’ body was found), Miller continued to tell firefighters, paramedics and sheriff’s deputies how he had come to the area to learn to deal drugs, and how he participated in the murder of Dystiny Myers,” the document states.
Miller said the others turned against him and beat him with a shovel and baseball bat, intending to kill and bury him in the same pit they used for Myers’ body, according to the document. He said he fled and hid until Cal Fire crews arrived. The document doesn’t make clear why the others allegedly beat him.
Miller, who admitted to being high on methamphetamine in the hours after Myers’ murder, told hospital officials that he wished he were dead and was “tearful and agitated” after being admitted to surgery at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo for a broken jaw, the document states.
Prosecutors noted in the court document that they had about nine hours of video-recorded statements from defendants Hill and York combined, as well as pre-arrest and post-arrest statements from Miller and video and audio statements from York that total about three hours and fifteen minutes.
Wisto invoked her right to silence and made no statement to investigators, the document states.
The trial brief was submitted by prosecutors arguing for multiple juries, a move sometimes used in cases with multiple defendants and statements to investigators.
In a 1968 case called Bruton v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s statements to investigators implicating an alleged co-conspirator can’t be used against that co-conspirator in the same trial if the defendant chooses not to testify.
The prosecution has proposed one jury to hear the case against Hill, a separate jury to hear the case against York, and a third jury to hear the case against defendants Wisto and Miller.
Greenwell would not be tried if he pleads guilty.
But Judge Barry LaBarbera at the latest hearing last week said he isn’t inclined to allow three juries and wants to review statements from the defendants before deciding on how many juries to select.
At this point, the trial against all five is set for Jan. 28.