Rhonda Wisto and her son, Jacob York, in appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Tuesday, March 19. They are on trial for the murder of 15-year-old Dystiny Myers.
After attorneys offer closing arguments in the Dystiny Myers trial Thursday, San Luis Obispo County’s biggest trial in the past decade will be in the hands of a jury.
Rhonda Maye Wisto and her son, Frank Jacob York, face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Two other defendants — Ty Michael Hill and Cody Lane Miller — have already been sentenced to life without parole. Another defendant, Jason Adam Greenwell, agreed to a plea deal that will result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Each day of testimony has revealed more insight into the killing. Here are some details The Tribune has not yet reported:
Hill led others to think Myers was his niece even though she wasn’t.
Before Myers was attacked by the four male defendants, one of them, Cody Miller, handed her a drink, saying it was water. “I noticed it definitely wasn’t water,” Greenwell said. Myers didn’t accept the drink. Moments later, Greenwell said, Hill injected her with drugs, then began to bind her wrists.
During his testimony, Greenwell said Myers was attacked in York’s bedroom at the Nipomo home he shared with his mother. After the attack, he said, York cleaned his room with bleach.
As the defendants drove to Santa Margarita, where they intended to bury Myers, Miller rode in the back of Wisto’s truck, Greenwell testified. As Greenwell, York and Hill rode in the front, Hill planned to murder Miller.
Greenwell said he didn’t want to ride in the back of the truck with Myers because the smell of blood made him sick.
As Miller dug a grave for Myers, York and Hill allegedly struck Miller in the head and face with shovels. Miller initially fell into the hole that had been dug for Myers, but he managed to get up and run.
After Miller ran from the scene, York followed, but he couldn’t catch up. Later, York met the others back at Wisto’s truck, Greenwell said. Greenwell said that York stated at the time of Miller, “He has to be dead.” Fearing for his life, Miller eventually told authorities about the murder.
During the attack on Miller, his nose was nearly amputated. In jailhouse letters to York, Wisto referred to Miller as “Shovel Face.”
The day after Greenwell was arrested, he spoke to his mother at County Jail. When he told her he’d been using meth, she said, “Oh, Jason, you knew that was going to get you in trouble one of these days.” He responded, “I was hanging out with the wrong (expletive) people, mom.”
When his mother asked, “That lady have anything to do with it or was it just her house?” Greenwell said, “That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” On the stand, Greenwell said Wisto helped plan the murder.
Greenwell said he’d been high for seven days and had minimal sleep when the murder occurred.
During Miller’s sentencing for murder this week, Myers’ mother, Aileen Myers, said her daughter was “a gift from God.” “She impacted a lot of people’s lives — even people she didn’t know,” the mother said, saying Dystiny was now an angel.
In letters to her son, Wisto warned York not to talk to potential snitches. Meanwhile, her cellmate, Tabatha Brown, was secretly keeping notes of her conversations with Wisto, which were later turned over to prosecutors.
In a jailhouse letter to a friend, Wisto wrote about her cellmate, “God has really blessed me with this young lady.”
During his interview with investigators, York said his childhood was “kinda rough” and that his father was dying in Grover Beach.
The prosecution maintains that Wisto ordered the killing because Myers disrespected her by stealing, “popping off,” and carving a gang sign into a desk Wisto’s mother had given Wisto.
York signed some of his jailhouse letters “Stud Muffin.”
Just hours after the murder, Hill paid $250 to purchase a .38-caliber handgun, which he said he needed for his work as a bounty hunter.
A prosecution witness who said she bought drugs at Wisto’s home the morning of the murder was nearly stabbed to death in 2007 over a drug debt. On the stand, the witness — who was stabbed in the abdomen in 2007 — said she has been clean for two years.