Prosecutors announced they will seek the death penalty for at least one of five defendants in the Dystiny Myers kidnapping and murder trial, and said they are still deciding whether to do the same for another.
At a preliminary hearing for the defendants on Feb. 24, Deputy District Attorney Timothy Covello told Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera that the office will seek the death penalty against Ty Hill, 28, of Santa Maria. Covello said he may seek the same for defendant Rhonda Wisto, 47, of Nipomo.
Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran declined to comment on why prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Hill and not the other defendants, citing the gag order issued on the case.
The five suspects are being charged with premeditated murder in the September 2010 death of 15-year-old Myers.
Prosecutors allege the five were members of a methamphetamine ring who turned on each other after killing Myers. In interviews with investigators, four of the defendants recounted essentially the same story, with differing accounts of each others’ involvement.
Hill, Wisto, and co-defendants Jason Adam Greenwell, 21; Frank Jacob York, 19; and Cody Lane Miller, 22, have all pleaded not guilty.