Jury views taped confession of accused Myers killer
March 15, 2013
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
A gripping interrogation videotape showing sheriff’s detectives patiently breaking down murder suspect Frank Jacob York took center stage Thursday as the first week of trial of Dystiny Myers’ alleged killers concluded.
The two-hour videotape concluded with York being handcuffed and informed that he was under arrest, along with his mother and three others, for the brutal Sept. 26, 2010, slaying of the 15-year-old Santa Maria runaway.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department detectives Robert Ferguson and Patrick Zuchelli interviewed York — just 19 at the time of the murder — who sat in his jail jumpsuit with his head bowed, saying nothing.
Gradually, Ferguson and Zuchelli started opening him up.
“Tell us your side. We already have a lot of information from the others. Did you just get caught up in the moment?” asked Ferguson.
There was a long, long pause, and Ferguson said, “Then something went wrong, didn’t it? Something very bad.”
Then — following a reference to Ty Michael Hill, one of those involved — York said, “Mike is kinda weird.”
And he started talking.
Dystiny was getting disrespectful, he said, and Hill decided to do something about it. Dystiny was beaten and tied up in York’s bedroom.
“It didn’t seem like she was fighting much,” said York, who later admitted kicking the girl while she lay on the floor.
Two former cellmates of York and Rhonda Maye Wisto testified about comments made and notes written by the suspects while awaiting trial. While the notes contained no smoking gun commentary, the contents were intended by the prosecution to show that Wisto was the matriarchal leader of a loosely-knit neighborhood gang of meth dealers and their numerous customers.
“Remember when you saw me last, how I didn’t want to go back to Mom’s?” York wrote in a note to Angela Normanly two months after his arrest. “Something was going to happen. Well, it did. I really miss you and I wish I hadn’t run back to my mother.”
Wisto’s notes to her son reflected a more focused angle.
“I do not want you to talk to anyone,” Wisto wrote, suggesting anyone with whom he shared information could “be a snitch.”
While Wisto is not accused of taking part in the actual beating and killing of Myers, she is alleged to have ordered or influenced the crime after asserting that Myers had “disrespected” her.
Part of the prosecution’s Thursday’s case attempted to define for the jury the word “respect” as it is interpreted by gang members. District attorney deputies Tim Covello and Sheryl Walcott will try to show that Wisto caused, guided and orchestrated the murder and subsequent attempt to cover the crime at the residence at Galaxy Mobile Home Park in Nipomo.
Wisto is alleged to have complimented her son, York, on his return from the murder scene, for “being a man.”