Street rules, a shared ethos doomed Myers girl
March 11, 2013
Mother-and-son murder suspects Rhonda Maye Wisto and Frank Jacob York had “a shared ethos commanding respect” and that may have led to the savage slaying of 15-year-old Destiny Myers, a prosecutor said Monday.
Deputy District Atty. Timothy S. Covello told a newly-empaneled jury during opening arguments that the defendants’ adherence to “street rules” and their demand for respect “was a lethal combination.”
Myers was slain Sept. 26, 2010, by four meth-fueled men, allegedly at the instructions of Wisto, and her body burned before its discovery by firefighters in a shallow Santa Margarita grave.
Wisto’s attorney, Michael R. Cummings, said he would prove that his client was not involved in the murder.
Covello said the victim “had a mouth on her,” and that the suspects plotted to kill her because of that, and because they feared she had learned too much about what the prosecutor called “a criminal enterprise” led by Wisto. She is reported to have praised her son upon his return from the scene of the murder.
First-day testimony by witnesses from CalFire and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department told about the discovery of Myers’ burning body, and the subsequent string of events leading to the arrest of five people at Wisto’s Nipomo residence only hours later.
Their testimony was often accompanied by slides showing the location of Wisto’s trailer home, the site where Myers was found, and the fire-darkened pit containing human remains.
Two firefighters told of interviewing a man who stumbled out of the darkness near the spot where Myers’ body lay, his face battered; he was nearly incoherent. That was Cody Lane Miller of Fresno, who admitted to questioners at the scene that he had been involved in the murder, and identified the other suspects.
Miller and two other men arrested for Myers’ slaying have pleaded guilty.
The trial is expected to last about three weeks, and resumes Tuesday in the courtroom of Judge Barry LaBarbera. — By Daniel Blackburn