Dystiny Myers killer dies in prison
June 17, 2016
Cody Miller, one of the five people convicted in the brutal killing of runaway Santa Maria teen Dystiny Myers, died in prison on Saturday. Miller was 25 years old. [Tribune]
At about 2:40 p.m., Miller was found dead in his cell at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi. Miller did not have a cellmate.
The cause of Miller’s death is unknown. However, there were concerns he was a suicide risk during his trial. An autopsy will likely be performed on Monday.
Miller, a Fresno resident, turned down a plea deal that would have given him a 39-year sentence. Instead, he accepted life in prison without the possibility of parole.
When Miller opted to spend the rest of his life in prison, his attorney, Gael Mueller, said Miller did not feel he belongs in society.
In Sept. 2010, firefighters found the badly burned body of Myers, 15, in a shallow grave near Santa Margarita. Myers was found hogtied with her legs bound behind her, a glove stuffed in her mouth, one of her eyes plucked out, sweat pants tied around her throat and her hands duck taped across her chest.
Following the murder, Miller was digging a grave in which to place the body when his cohorts turned on him and began beating him in the face with a shovel. Miller escaped and was taken to a local hospital where he received facial surgery, had his jaw wired shut and was treated for burns.
Miller told firefighters and investigators that Ty Hill, one of the co-conspirators, had raped him with a baseball bat before the murder. Miller also told investigators he participated in the murder because otherwise he would have been injured or something bad would have happened to him.
Co-conspirators gave Miller the task of keeping Myers quiet, beating her, carrying her in a bag and dropping her in the makeshift grave.
Jason Greenwell, a co-conspirator, testified that Miller duct taped Myers’ throat prior to Hill and Jacob York beating her with a baseball bat, punching her and kicking her. Greenwell also testified that, upon arriving at the Santa Margarita location where the group burned Myers’ body, Miller said he stuffed a glove down her throat and said she was dead.
Greenwell, the only defendant who testified in the Myers murder trial, received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for his testimony.
The other four defendants each received sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.