Judge requests two juries in Dystiny Myers trial
October 3, 2012
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera has decided to hold one trial with two separate juries in the Dystiny Myers murder case. [SLO Tribune]
LaBarbera said Tuesday that one jury will hear the death penalty case of Ty Michael Hill and another will rule on the murder trials of Cody Miller, Frank York, Rhonda Wisto and Jason Greenwald, none of whom face the death penalty. LaBarbera deemed two juries to be necessary because there may be testimony in one trial that may not be admissible in another. If that occurs, one jury will have to leave the courtroom.
To fit two juries, several defendants and a large crowd in a single courtroom, LaBarbera instructed the court to redesign a courtroom. LaBarbera said the court must replace some public seating area with a raised platform for the second jury. Likewise, additional space must be cleared for all of the attorneys and defendants.
Myers, 15 of Santa Maria, was found buried in a shallow grave near Santa Margarita in September 2010. Her body was badly burned, her legs were bound behind and sweatpants were tied around her throat.
While the Myers case is expected to be the first trial in San Luis Obispo County to use two juries, LaBarbaera could still reverse his decision at another pretrial hearing. The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 29.