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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 9th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 44 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 44

Two defendants in Myers case plead guilty

BY MATT FOUNTAIN

One defendant in the trial stemming from the 2010 kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Santa Maria resident Dystiny Myers will spend the rest of his life in prison, following a plea agreement reached with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. Another has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

On Jan. 3, Ty Michael Hill, 29, of Santa Maria, pleaded guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder with special circumstances and another count of conspiracy to commit murder—both felonies, according to court records.

A third count of attempted murder for allegedly turning against co-defendant Cody Miller, 22, of Fresno, on the night of the murder was dismissed.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera immediately sentenced Hill to life in prison without the possibility of parole, meaning he will spend the rest of life in custody. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Hill waived his right to an appeal.

Hill was the only defendant in the case facing a possible death sentence.

On Jan. 7, Miller also pleaded guilty to counts of premeditated first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. His sentencing is scheduled for May 15.

In the case that has shocked county residents both for its brutality and the age of its victim, defendants quickly turned on each other to investigators. According to a brief filed in July by lead prosecutor Tim Covello, defendant Jason Greenwell, 22, of Nipomo, confessed to his participation in the alleged crimes and has agreed to plead guilty and to testify against his co-defendants, Rhonda Maye Wisto, 48, and Frank Jacob York, 20, of Nipomo, both of whom pleaded not guilty.

LaBarbera issued a gag order on the case in 2011, preventing either party from speaking about the case to the media.

Fire crews discovered Myers’ burned body off Parkhill Road in rural Santa Margarita in September 2010.