Santa Maria teen’s murder caught on videotape

October 12, 2010

Dystiny Myers

A Pismo Beach gas station surveillance tape captured what appears to be the horrific beating of 15-year-old Dystiny Myers while two Pismo Beach police officers stand nearby, talking and drinking coffee. [KCCN.tv]

On Sept. 26 at 3 a.m. at the Five Cities Chevron just off Highway 101, a surveillance tape shows a man restraining and beating a struggling woman.  Though officers thought the two men, who were wearing gloves and trying on sunglasses, “were acting kind of hinkey” they failed to notice the physical assault occurring in the bed of the truck driven by the suspects.

Pismo Beach Police Chief Jeff Norton declined to identify the officers involved but confirmed the incident to KCCN.tv. Norton said he had not yet had a chance to view the camera’s tapes, but said he was told by department personnel that the tapes showed a man in the back of the truck, apparently holding down a struggling woman.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department officials have confiscated the surveillance tapes, said Norton to KCCN.tv. “It’s an ongoing sheriff’s investigation,” he said, declining further comment.

The teen’s body was found off Park Hill Road in Santa Margarita, a few miles east of Highway 58, by firefighters responding to a grass fire a few hours after the videotaped assault.

Five suspects are held in county jail with no bail, charged with the 15-year-old Santa Maria girl’s death. The suspects have all pleaded not guilty and include Cody Lane Miller, 22, of Fresno; Ty Michael Hill, 28, of Santa Maria; Jason Adam Greenwell, 20, Frank Jacob York, 19, and and Rhonda Maye Wisto, all of Nipomo; and Cody Lane Miller, 22, of Fresno.

According to sources, the suspects turned on the girl allegedly because she disrespected Wisto, the mother of York and the girlfriend of Hill. The suspects then drove the teen to a rural site in Santa Margarita where they dug a shallow grave.

They then allegedly strangled the teen, placed her in the grave they had lined with lye, covered her with branches, coated her body in accelerant and lit her on fire.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 15.


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JordanJ

Bottom line is that a heavy hitting story came out and the cops saw to it that a judge put a “gag order” on it within less than 24 hours!

Now nobody can prove anything and no one has to respond regardless of what they said the day before. HALLELUJAH. Welcome to SLO County folks.


Typoqueen

Once again the CCN pokes it’s head out out of the dog house and says “SQUIRLE!”. You pride yourselves (CCN) for your investigative abilities. You use a local small town reporter/friend as a source, write it in stone and you don’t fact check what you write/reprint. Did anyone on this site call the owner of the gas station? He was quoted on the news tonight saying that their video shows NOTHING abnormal. It simply shows two of the scum bags going into the station to use the bathroom, nothing in a truck, nothing odd. As usual the cops are tried and convicted,,,but hey don’t let facts stop you. Simple tabloid gossip once again.


Dave

Typoqueen: This may be too much to ask, but WHY DON’T YOU READ THE ARTICLE FIRST?


Here’s what Blackburn reported:


“Pismo Beach Police Chief Jeff Norton declined to identify the officers involved but confirmed the incident to KCCN.tv. Norton said he had not yet had a chance to view the camera’s tapes, but said he was told by department personnel that the tapes showed a man in the back of the truck, apparently holding down a struggling woman.”


So this is what the police chief told Blackburn. He CONFIRMED the allegation without hesitation.


What are you missing here?


slojo

I love when Dave gets defensive! Typoqueen is right on…..Blackburn was hungry for a story to continue with his mission of “exposing” bad cops so he took what little info he heard and ran with it without confirming anything. Dave, how can you confirm what is on a video tape by just asking someone who hasn’t seen the video tape????


Desperate…..


Citizen

It seems pretty simple to me. The gas station manager , the Trib, and KSBY are all talking about one tape from the gas station. Are there other tapes that were confiscated by the Pismo Beach police that show more. The events confirmed by the Pismo Beach police chief were possibly on separate tapes from the scene, and not the one from the gas station manager.


zaphod

no one has mentioned the dashboard cameras


MarkJames

Typoqueen, What’s with the bashing of CCN? This isn’t their story. If you read you might notice that it is KCCN’s story and you will note that CCN linked to it and gave them the credit for it. Second, Dave is correct, this story was confirmed by Chief Norton and third what’s with the line, “Once again the CCN pokes it’s head out out of the dog house and says “SQUIRLE!”?

CCN has never had a story wrong. Name one?


Typoqueen

MarkJames, to answer your last question,,,this one. I like CCN I just don’t like the fact that they are not as professional as some of us would expect. CCN digs into stories more than the Trib, but they do get overly excited at chasing the ambulances and they leap into stories before finding out the facts. In many cases they give off a feeling of judgmentalism about what they are reporting without being unbiased and many of the posters here jump on that like hyenas on a kill (unfortuantly that’s human nature). Are you going to say that Blackburn doesn’t have a connection with the reporters here? Are they not friends? If you’re going to quote a story from a small town source ie Blackburn/friend then it’s a good idea to check out the facts on that story prior to publishing it. It’s not quite the same as quoting the AP or the LA Times.


Dave, is it to much for readers on this site to expect accuracy? I must have missed the part where Dan B. asked the station owner if he (Dan) could review the tape or at least ask the owner if he had seen the tape. Should we not we expect you to get facts directly from the source ie the station owner prior to judgment. They asked a man that hadn’t seen the tape and made a conclusion from which basically appears to be gossip, someone told someone is not the way to report in a professional manner. I know that you are friends with Karen and that you are linked to this site so it’s hard to be unbiased, I get that. But saying this: “… horrific beating of 15-year-old Dystiny Myers while two Pismo Beach police officers stand nearby, talking and drinking coffee” makes the police seem like idiots, they have been judged because of the way this story was written. It’s easy to get caught up in moment ie the dog debacle but there are a few of us that would like more than that.


Typoqueen

Oh yeah, I forgot to address my typo Mark. ‘squirrel’. I made a mess of that one. It is a reference from the movie ‘Up’. Where the dog gets immediately and overly excited when he thinks there’s a squirrel around.


Cindy

I can see your point about CCN having picked up Blackburns story too fast considering that they have a “past business relationship”. At the same time, Karen is not responsible for Blackburn’s reporting as he now has his own media site and works only for himself. Until now there has never been a question about his accuracy and fact checking. CCN is no more responsible than KSBY and MSNBC was when they picked up Rob Bryn’s story about pedobear, which made our county the laughing stock of many media sites.


For you to say that CCN “they leap into stories before finding out the facts” is just plain BS. Karen has never done a story without facts and if she didn’t have the facts she didn’t write the story. Mark James asked you to name a story CCN did without the facts. You haven’t done that.


keithb

What I don’t understand is why the title of the CCN article isn’t changed since this isn’t what the KCCN article says.


Typoqueen

I did name a story on this site that didn’t have the facts, this story. As keithb pointed out, simply read the title on this article. Who saw the cops talking and drinking coffee while “Santa Maria teen’s murder caught on videotape”

(as CCN said in the headline). Who said the murder was caught on videotape,,it wasn’t? It’s not right to simply put it on Dan B..


Cindy

Yes Typoqueen , CCN did put that headline in there.

I know the head line is in question but not ever any of Karen’s articles, you at least have to admit that? Karen never wrote a bogus article.


KatieEvans

I am not concerned over the head line. The beating of Myers was a prelude to a murder and it is all part of the same thing. What I am concerned about is a statement by a police Chief that can no longer be confirmed under the auspex of a gag order. How Convenient.


comonsensual

Typoqueen, you are RIGHT ON! I’m not sure what Dave is saying in his reply, and asking you what YOU are missing, but the TITLE of the article is “Santa Maria teen’s murder caught on videotape” , and like you said, the owner said not even a beating seemed to be caught on any tape.


This site and their practices are a janky at best. But just like ppl read other tabloid garbage, ppl will still come back here for their feeding time….


What I am floored with is the often hateful and blatanly ignorant comments that come from the sites supporters and fans.


BeenThereDoneThat

So has anyone heard what the real time frame is. Is it the cops were there at the same time as stated here, or cops showing up ten minutes later as stated in the Trib? Obviously a big difference in how one would preceive the officers actions.


MarkJames

I’m wondering if the camera at the attached Jack-In-Box is the camera that might have caught everything on video? I know there are quite a few camera’s at the center.


trebor86

I believe you are correct. my wife frequents this station. An employee mentioned the JB camera’s did, or might have, been more revealing than their own.


willie

Reality of abduction


You can be next to a room or car where physical force or psychological force (fear) is used to abduct


EXAMPLEs:

In a resturant, I and a friend were put into a side room where there were three tramps, they attemped to rob us, I was very young at that time, my friend and I were “Blackbelt level and experienced boxers”. I choked out one of the assailant, my friend better than me did a fast double knock out. In the ajacent crowed room, no one had a clue what happened.

Terrorist kidnap people under the nose of security.

Dystiny beatened, disabled.

Poly Krass abducted under fear of a knife and threat with other children present in her room right near her grandparent’s room!

Those two Pismo police officers are trained to be police officers, at most, they are taught to be suspicious but it does not mean they have a lot of experience or an experienced eye!


And these abductions occurred, and never realized it happened even with supervision or security nearby!


WiseGuy

moderator nips in bud:sorry WG


slojo

So, CCN didn’t confirm the content of the surveillance video before chastising the police officers?


JordanJ

CCN would have no reason to confirm anything. CCN didn’t investigate or write the story. It clearly say’s at the beginning of the article that it is reported by KCCN and a link is posted to the original story where one can read all the details.


slojo

It also says (the title of the story) “Santa Maria Teen’s Murder Caught On Tape” which is false. according to thier own story she wasn’t murdered at the gas station but at the gravesite.


KatieEvans

slojo, You are an eloquent poster but Meyers murder began when she was placed in the truck with the intent to murder her and everything that occurred after that is all part of or the prelude to her murder. It is all conjecture whether she actually was murdered by strangulation in Santa Margarita or whether a blow to the head was the actual cause of her death. Until the autopsy results are published, any serious assault is a part of if not her MURDER. I do not have a problem with this headline.


slojo

KatieEvans…..I disagree. The headline should have said “teen’s murder possibly caught on tape” then. Just like Dan Blackburn should have confirmed his story of the video before writing the story, he should not assume the murder was a blow to the head in the back of the truck. Did the medical examiner tell him it was?????


Cindy

Would Dave Congalton please post what time Dan is going to be on his show? I would like to let people who are blogging over at the Tribune know that he will be on KVEC today to talk about this. I just saw the “differing” facts as reported by the Tribune and this is bizarre that somebody clearly is reporting contradicting information! The guy from the gas station that turned over the video has me and a lot of people stumped? The rest could be do to the police or sheriffs intentionally dancing in circles but ?????????????


Dave

Cindy: We’ll probably hold off on Dan Blackburn until Friday. We want to give Chief Norton every reasonable chance to respond.


I mean, this is a classic WTF????? Norton confirms to Blackburn the existence of a tape, confirms the presence of his officers, basically fessing up to everything.


24 hours later, the police has issued a completely different story. All we need now is Bob Cuddy waiting in the wings with another hatchet job attack on Blackburn.


This is beginning to sound like a bad movie.


Cindy

The story that I am getting “right now” is that the police were standing by the coffee shop and were not in the store where the clerk could see them. I’m also told that more than one video tape was confiscated from the area and that all the cars that pull up to a station are caught on video, but not on all video’s. I’m told that the police have gone into panic mode because this could go national considering all the circumstances.

I think the above info that I’m receiving all makes sense.


WiseGuy

Cindy, I mean no disrespect, but can you give us any sort of clue as to where you might be getting all your “info” “right now” or who you are referring to when you write, “I’m told…”.


If you can’t give a name, perhaps SOMETHING about the person so that the average reader can try to evaluate the worth of what you are trying to pass along to the public.


zaphod

If Cindy told you that, she would have to kill you ! the Contact Us button has a phone number

I’m told ‘the smoking man’ answers it.


Cindy

Ha Ha, Yes, hit the Contact US button.


ApathyWillKillYou

There are TWO VERY different versions of the video tape!

The TRIB story states NO cops on tape and the truck NOT visible!


WHAT IS THE TRUTH?


TRIB VERSION:


Two Pismo Beach police officers stopped by the store about 10 minutes after the suspects were gone, Patrick said, but not because of the incident.


Patrick said he has viewed that portion of the video requested by law enforcement and it does not show any footage of any vehicle parked outside that could have been driven by the two men, nor did it show any footage of Myers or the suspects.


“You could never see the truck at all,” said Patrick, who watched the surveillance video before he surrendered it to authorities.


http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/10/13/1327971/suspects-stop-at-gas-station-investigated.html#storylink=omni_popular


Cindy

There has always been a sentence in Dan’s article that didn’t add up:

“Sources said the mini-market clerk told investigators he was unnerved by the two people’s odd behavior, considered calling police, but did not.” I wondered from the first moment I read it why a clerk would say he considered calling the police if the police were there?

I dismissed the oddity because the first paragraph says:

” A service station’s surveillance camera captured horrific images of someone — most likely murdered teenager Dystiny Myers — being restrained and beaten in the back of a camper-covered pickup truck while two Pismo Beach police officers stood nearby, talking and drinking coffee.”

It goes on to say:

“Pismo Beach Police Chief Jeff Norton declined to identify the officers but confirmed the incident. Norton said he had not yet had a chance to view the camera’s tapes, but said he was told by department personnel that the tapes showed a man in the back of the truck, apparently holding down a struggling woman. He said the two officers said the men “were acting kind of hinkey” but that there appeared to be “nothing that would have alerted” the officers of the struggle in the truck. ”


I also have wondered how a surveillance camera documented what was happening in the back of a camper covered truck but figured it must have had a view through a wide back window but at night how could the camera see anything?


I sure hope Dan didn’t get set up and taken for a fool? I know there are many stories Karen hasn’t written due to anonymous sources that didn’t offer 100% proof. In this case, according to Dan, Chief Norton confirmed his source and added information!! Hard to say at this point what is really up.


PaulJones

I think the cops set up Dan Blackburn to get back at him for the Matt Hart video tapes and the 2+million hits his story got. The way the cops see it, turn about is fair play. He bit and he lost his teeth. They would do the same thing to Karen and CCN if they could.


The cops are all having a good laugh today.


Cindy

Don’t think so, all my questions have been answered and those answers make perfect sense. It makes sense that the police were outside drinking their coffee that they had purchased from the attached coffee shop so the clerk didn’t know they were around.

He said they showed up ten minutes later because that’s when they actually walked into the store. Also there are 5 to 8 video camera’s covering that area. The clerk only turned in the one that he had access to but all the other video’s were also collected that he didn’t see. I have to admit that the Tribune had me going for minute.


keithb

There is no attached coffee shop to the Chevron station. There is an attached Jack-in-the-Box but I don’t think the inside is open 24 hours. If they were drinking coffee in the parking lot of the Chevron station, they either needed to purchase it from the Chevron clerk, went through the Jack drive-through and then parked (if the drive through was open), or have brought it with them.


I also believe that the video cameras are displayed on a TV behind the counter so the clerk can see what is going on live. This is a big gas station with 3 rows of pumps with 3 pumps each. If a car is parked in the last aisle nearest the car wash, it’s almost impossible to see what is going on if you’re standing near the mini-mart.


Cindy

I hear what you’re saying keithb. It’s getting very confusing and I don’t know what to think. I’ve never seen the gas station and have no idea what coffee shop they are talking about but I’m told the police had bought the coffee from the shop next door and were in the gas station parking lot drinking it and talking with each other while the beating was taking place and that they entered the store ten minutes later. I hear Blackburn is standing by his story and that is where I’m going to put my money until something proves otherwise. This video will have to come out in court if it exists, hopefully we won’t have to wait that long to get to the bottom of this.


keithb

There’s a Coffee Bean next to McDonald’s across the street and a Starbuck’s up the road a bit in the Scolaris shopping center but if it was 3 AM, both of these were closed. Too many things just don’t add up.. This is station I ‘ve been going to for years and have seen police (usually highway patrol) there at night getting coffee, but it’s from inside the mini-mart.


ThomasPaine

“It’s getting very confusing and I don’t know what to think.”


Unfortunately that won’t stop you from supposing and guessing and imagining till the cows come home.


slojo

Cindy….KeithB is right. I too frequent this Chevron and there is a Jack in the Box connected to it. The Jack in the Box parking lot is clear on the opposite side of the gas station. The Coffee Bean is on the same side of the street but there is a MacDonald’s in between it and the Chevron. The Starbucks is almost directly accross from MacDonald’s.

There is absolutely no way 2 cops would ignore a young girl being beaten in the back of a truck, no matter where they were standing. That’s absurd, and to suggest that is foolish.


Cindy

TP, Do you have to be so rude? I didn’t come back here and make up a story about how it all comes together, I was given that explanation from a person who should know those answers. Obviously, those answers don’t seem to fit according to keith and slojo who I have no reason to doubt.

Yes it’s confusing, I’m told Dan didn’t make a mistake but there are lots of mistakes someplace.


avidgonadnote

So, how come when the Tribune does this story Dave Congalton gets on the air with another el dorado employee (Scott somebody) and complains how unprofessional it is to splash destiny’s face all over the place? But when Cal Coast News and Dan Blackburn do it Dave has them on the radio talking about what an important story it is. I do happen to think that the story deserves coverage. On the surface it may seem insensitive to the family but covering a story of this magnitude will ultimately help the family. Destiny was a person. Her death was tragic. She is a cautionary tale. Destiny deserves all the media attention she can get.


Dave

Avid: When Scott Taylor was on my show, we were objecting to a specific front page layout on the Dystiny story. The design and large photos smelled of tabloid journalism–we also pointed out that the Trib had run something like 6 front page stories in a row. We thought it was excessive.


Other than that conversation, we’ve only talked about it once on my show and that was with Blackburn last night because of the video information. I may give him a chance to respond to The Tribune coverage in today’s paper, but that should be about it.


Nancy

Get a clue, Dave Congalton was objecting to the photo’s of Dystiny with tattoo’s and the insinuations that she had brought all this upon herself when the reality was that she had only gone in that direction for a very short time of her life. The press was taking photo’s off her My Space page rather than photo’s from the family and making this girl who had just turned 15 responsible for her own demise.


slojo

The cops can never please you people. If they had “investigated” these “suspicious” people in the gas station, some of you would have been all over them for racial profiling or for assuming the suspects were guilty of something before anything happened. You would have been like “just because they looked like white trash doesn’t mean they should be hassled by the cops”.


The cops obviously did not know the girl was being beaten in the back of the truck. Jesus. And…..cops are allowed to drink coffee.


Cindy

slojo, if the police suspect that you are driving DUI (which includes drugs) they have every reason to question you. Anybody can contact the police, in fact citizens are encouraged to report a suspicious DUI driver and that driver can be stopped if the police catch up to them and notice something irregular about their driving. The police noticed two characters acting very odd at 3AM while at a gas station, even the attendant said he was taken aback by their behavior, The police only would have had to question them to notice that they appeared to be under the influence of some type of speed. They are trained to identify those symptoms. Then they could have looked at the truck and flashed a light into the back windows.

Yes of course they are allowed to have coffee and many of time the poor guys have had to leave their lunch behind to run off on a call, we know that, that’s why we pay them so well. It isn’t always the greatest job, it’s give and take. In this case some of us wish that they had just put their coffee down and took a closer look at these guys.


slojo

Cindy…..I agree with you. My issue is some people would have considered it “harrasment” if the cops approached these guys in the gas station for trying on sunglasses and gloves.


Nancy

There is always somebody that is going to complain about something. It doesn’t matter unless it is a justified complaint. By the way, these guy’s were not trying on gloves, they were wearing big gloves and trying on sunglasses! Very odd behavior at 3AM or anytime except maybe Halloween.


slojo

Nancy…..I see “odd behavior” from random people everyday. If I reported it everytime I thought someone was acting “odd”, I would be considered “odd”.


Cindy

slojo, you’re so funny, what you just said is so true but you have to go back to where we started and admit that you were off tract.

You are avoiding your original statements or the fact that a white guy acting weird isn’t going to win a claim for racial profiling. I mean, come on and admit that you weren’t making sense to begin with, even if you are now.


danika

No one ever said the cops KNEW the girl was being beaten.