Four of the five defendants accused of kidnapping and murdering 15-year-old Santa Maria resident Dystiny Myers requested to have their cases dismissed.
On July 25, attorneys for defendants Cody Miller, 22, of Fresno; Frank York, 20; Jason Greenwell, 21; and Rhonda Wisto, 47, of Nipomo, filed a motion seeking to dismiss the charges against their clients. They claimed there isn’t sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy denied the motions.
Attorneys for Ty Hill, 28, of Santa Maria, the sole defendant in the case facing a death sentence, filed a motion to take the death penalty off the table. His attorneys William McLennan and Tom Allen argued that evidence submitted at an early February preliminary hearing did not clearly indicate Myers was kidnapped, tortured, and intentionally murdered, a set of special circumstances required in capital cases. Duffy disagreed.
A gag order issued in October 2010 has kept any of the parties from commenting on the case.
Myers’ partially burned body was found in a rural area off Highway 58 near Santa Margarita by CalFire officials who were responding to a report of a brush fire in September 2010.
The defendants have all pleaded not guilty to the charges. They are expected to be back in court in September.