Dystiny Myers murder testimony begins in prelim hearing
December 4, 2012
Firefighters who responded to the burned body of Dystiny Myers testified Monday about statements made by one of the defendents during a preliminary hearing on the murder of the 15-year-old Santa Maria girl. [Tribune]
The trial, rescheduled to begin February 4, will consist of five defendants and two juries, one of which will hear the death penalty case of Ty Michael Hill.
Hill’s attorneys objected to evidence brought forth about statements made by Cody Lane Miller after the killing of Myers on September 26, 2010, so they summoned the firefighters who encountered Miller while responding to a grass fire.
Cal Fire Captain Emma Lauritson said an agitated Miller approached them with his face covered in blood.
“He said he’d been hiding in the bushes and he didn’t want to die and he needed help,” Lauritson said. “And that’s why he came to us.”
Miller seemed to be saying “insane gibberish,” seasonal firefighter Marshall Goodwin testified. But then he began to discuss the murder.
“He said that they had murdered a little girl and that’s what the fire was, and that they had forced him to carry the body,” said seasonal firefighter Ernie Landeros. “
Stephanie Dininni, of Cal Fire, said Miller told the firefighters that group that killed Myers had charged him with silencing her and that he had put a sock in her mouth.
The firefighters also testified that Miller said he carried Myers’ body in a black duffel bag while she was still breathing, then “chickened out,” causing the others to beat him with a shovel. Afterward, Miller ran away and hid.
First responders testified that they tried to get Miller to lie flat to treat him, but he said he couldn’t because Hill had raped him.
According to court documents previously filed, the remainder of the group intended to kill Miller and bury him in the same pit as Myer.
Hill’s attorneys contend that Miller did not make credible statements to the firefighters and that he did not speak to them in a spontaneous manner.
Defense attorney Bill McLennan asked the emergency personnel if they questioned Miller about the murder. Dininni said they did in order to determine if Myers was still alive.
Additionally, Deputy District Attorney Tim Covello confirmed in court Monday that Nipomo resident and defendant, Jason Adam Greenwell, will enter a plea in exchange for his testimony.