Feb 24, 2011 8:49 PM by Danielle Lerner

At least one defendant in Myers murder case will face death penalty if convicted

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office will seek the death penalty in the Dystiny Myers murder case.

The 15-year-old girl's body was found burned and buried off Highway 58 in Santa Margarita last September.

Defendants Cody Miller, Jason Greenwell, Ty Michael Hill, Frank Jacob York and Rhonda Wisto have all plead not guilty to first-degree murder charges in her death.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Ty Michael Hill.

Twenty-eight-year-old Ty Michael Hill appeared visibly shaken just moments after learning his life is now on the line. Testimony during the preliminary hearing said Hill was giving orders that September day, when 15-year-old Dystiny Myers was murdered. Her body was buried and set on fire in Santa Margarita.

If convicted, it would be the first capital conviction for San Luis Obispo County in nearly 10 years. Rex Krebs was sentenced to death in May of 2001 for raping and killing Cal Poly student Rachel Newhouse in 1998, and Cuesta College student Aundria Crawford in 1999. Krebs is still on death row.

However in the Myers case Hill may not be the only one facing the death penalty. The district attorney is still pouring over evidence, trying to decide if 47-year-old Rhonda Wisto will also face capital punishment.

Myers' beatings reportedly started at Wisto's Nipomo home and preliminary hearing testimony said she ordered the killing, but only time and testimony will tell who did what to Dystiny.

The other three defendants face life in prison without parole.

Since this is now a capital case there are certain guidelines the court must follow. For example, Hill will need to have two attorney instead of one and the court will be looking over their credentials to make sure they are qualified to try a death penalty case.

That is just one of the things they will be discussing when the case heads back to court on March 17.

The attorneys in the case are also considering asking the trial take place outside San Luis Obispo County because of fears of a tainted jury pool. The Rex Krebs case was tried in Monterey County.


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