Posted: Mar 11, 2013 6:35 PM by April Hansen, KSBY
Updated: Mar 14, 2013 8:35 AM
Opening statements started Monday in the Dystiny Myers murder trial.
The 15-year old's body was found beaten and burned in Santa Margarita back in September 2010.
Rhonda Wisto and Frank York, mother and son, are accused of murdering Myers.
Three others have also been linked to her death.
Ty Michael Hill pleaded guilty to first degree murder. He's been sentenced to life in prison.
Cody Miller also pleaded guilty to first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and has agreed to testify against Wisto and York.
Jason Greenwell has also made an agreement with the District Attorney's office to testify against the others in this case.
Wisto and York are charged with first degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder with additional charges of kidnapping and torture.
It was a full court room as both sides gave their opening statements.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Covello addressed the jury using detailed photos.
Covello said drugs and gang-like activity were involved in what happened to Dystiny and that Rhonda Wisto encouraged and facilitated the events leading up to Myers' death.
The defense says Wisto didn't encourage the crime, but that Ty Michael Hill facilitated the murder of Myers, calling him evil and a master of manipulation and intimidation.
Several witnesses were called to the stand Monday, including firefighters first on scene at Parkhill Road near Santa Margarita.
The call initially came in as a grass fire, but they then found Myers' body in a hole.
Deputies with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office and a forensic specialist also testified.
Key pieces of evidence were introduced, including photographs at the scene where Myers' body was found.
Wisto and York were previously charged with the attempted premeditated murder of Cody Miller, but the district attorney dropped those charges.
First degree murder charges usually carry sentences of 25 years to life in prison, but under special circumstances, they may be eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
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