Colver conference delayed

Murder suspect Steven Colver gets off the elevator prior to Friday’s hearing. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

Murder suspect Steven Colver gets off the elevator prior to Friday's hearing. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

Several months removed from his last public court appearance, suspected murderer Steven Paul Colver’s latest readiness conference was delayed yet again Friday morning.

Colver, 20, is accused of killing the mother of Tylar Marie Witt, his former girlfriend, in 2009.

Friday’s affair had been set as a readiness and settlement conference for Colver’s upcoming trial, scheduled to begin May 3. Colver’s trial had been initially slated to start this month, but that was pushed back last November.

Attorneys in the case Friday asked El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud to continue the hearing to April 8.

A hearing for Witt’s judgement and sentencing was also set for Friday, but the confessed killer was not present. Mark Ralphs, her public defender, said she was not transported.

In September 2010, Tylar pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree murder. Witt also admitted to two special circumstances: lying in wait and killing a witness.

She had initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Although Witt was 14 at the time of the killing, prosecutors were set to try her as an adult. Under the accepted plea bargain, she will serve 15 years to life if she cooperates with prosecutors. She is expected to take the witness stand during the trial, per terms of the agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

If she follows through with her side of the deal, her murder conviction will be reduced to second-degree and the two special circumstances will be dropped. But if Witt fails to hold up her end of the bargain, her sentence will increase to 25 years to life in prison, the maximum penalty she faced had she stood trial.

On Friday Witt’s hearing was continued to June.

Deputy district attorney Lisette Suder told the court Colver’s attorney, Dain Weiner, could be filing a pre-trial motion but further details were not made available.

In June 2009 the body of Witt’s mother, Joanne, was found in the El Dorado Hills home she shared with her daughter and, at one point, Colver.

Court documents state Tylar and Colver killed Joanne Witt because the mother planned on filing statutory rape charges against Colver after finding the two of them together, naked.

Prosecutors allege Colver, then 19, slashed Joanne Witt’s throat and stabbed her more than 20 times.

The teens fled to the Bay Area where they had reportedly planned on committing suicide. But they were found by San Bruno police days after Joanne Witt’s body was discovered.

Colver has pleaded not guilty to the killing.

Attorneys reiterated their belief Friday that a trial will last 7 weeks.

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Posted by on Mar 4 2011.
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