Crime

Dystiny Myers defendant committed suicide, coroner says

Cody Lane Miller, with his lawyer, Gael Mueller, addresses the family of Dystiny Myers after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in 2013 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Cody Lane Miller, with his lawyer, Gael Mueller, addresses the family of Dystiny Myers after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in 2013 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. Joe Johnston

One of the five people serving prison time in the 2010 kidnapping and murder of Santa Maria teen Dystiny Myers committed suicide in his cell, a Kern County Coroner’s Office spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Cody Lane Miller, 25, was found dead in his cell about 2:40 p.m. June 11 at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, where he was serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A Coroner’s Office spokeswoman said Wednesday that Miller’s death has officially been ruled a suicide, with the cause of death being asphyxiation. No other details were immediately available.

Krissi Khokhobashvili, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman, said last month that Miller did not have a cellmate.

Myers’ body was found beaten and partially burned in a field in Santa Margarita in September 2010. Myers, 15, was killed because she was “disrespectful” and tried to leave a group of South San Luis Obispo County residents who allegedly ran a meth ring, according to trial testimony.

After the killing, Miller was beaten with a shovel when the group suspected him of being a police informant. He fled and later told police about the killing.

Although Miller initially accepted a plea deal with a prison term of about 40 years, he ultimately turned it down in favor of life in prison without parole. His attorney said at the time that Miller didn’t believe he deserved forgiveness for his crimes.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1

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