Oct 2, 2012 9:21 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
A San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge ordered two separate juries on Tuesday for the case against five people charged with kidnapping and murdering a 15-year old Santa Maria girl.
Judge Barry LaBarbera decided one jury will hear the case against defendant Ty Michael Hill of Santa Maria, and a second jury is for the other four defendants in the case, which include: Jason Adam Greenwell, Frank Jacob York, Rhonda Maye Wisto, all of Nipomo, and Cody Lane Miller, of Fresno.
Both juries will hear arguments and testimony at the same time. Judge LaBarbera says tentative plans for the courtroom will have one jury sitting just elevated above the second jury. The prosecution had originally proposed three juries, but Judge Barbera said he couldn't justify logistics or time, among other things, for a third jury.
The victim in this case, Dystiny Myers, was killed in September 2010. Her body was found near Santa Margarita. She had been beaten and burned.
According to a trial brief filed by prosecutors in August, Miller claimed he was cut and sodomized by Hill, and said he felt the other defendents were going to kill him.
Hill faces special enchancements and is the only defendent who faces the death penalty. All five defendents have entered not guilty pleas.
Myer's grandmother and mother told KSBY after court that they had hoped for three separate juries, but are happy with the judge's decision of two. They said ever since Myer's death over two years ago, time for them has stopped.
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