What had been the most anticipated day of the Steven “Boston” Colver murder trial took an unexpected turn Thursday when testimony was postponed for unspecified reasons.
Colver, 21, is accused of stabbing the mother of 16-year-old Tylar Marie Witt, his former girlfriend, in June 2009.
Last year, Tylar Witt pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree murder. As part of the plea agreement with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office Witt agreed to help prosecutors. She was scheduled to testify against her former lover Thursday morning in Placerville’s Main Street Courthouse.
But Thursday’s hearing began much later than normal, as attorneys met with Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud in chambers for more than an hour.
When they returned to the courtroom, Judge Proud told jurors that Thursday’s hearing would not proceed.
Attributing the hangup to a recent development, Proud released jurors for the week and told them to return at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“I can’t tell you any more about what’s going on,” said the judge.
Attorneys were then instructed to not discuss the new development, but CBS 13 reported that Thursday’s hearing was delayed because of new DNA evidence.
Although Tylar Witt did not testify, previous statements made by the teen became the focus of Wednesday afternoon’s hearing.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s detective Mike Lensing, who was called previously by the prosecution, retook the witness stand to recall an interview investigators had with Witt shortly after she and Colver were found in the Bay Area.
Lensing said Witt initially claimed to not know her mother was dead and, upon being told about her mother’s slaying, became hysterical. The detective said Witt buried her head into her arms and pretended to cry, noting that Witt had no tears streaming down her face.
Lensing also discussed Witt’s fitness hearing in November 2009.
Tylar Witt, according to the detective, testified that she wanted to run away with Colver and they planned to kill themselves but Colver wanted to “get rid of” Witt’s mother before they fled.
Witt, according to the detective, heard her mother’s last words: “No, Boston, no!”
Lensing was also asked to explain the plea deal Witt struck with prosecutors.
Under the agreement, Witt pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree murder. If she fulfills her end of the bargain, which includes testifying during Colver’s trial, the murder conviction will be reduced to a second-degree count and she will face 15 years to life in prison.
When asked by deputy district attorney Lisette Suder if he was aware of any convicted murderer getting an early parole, Lensing replied: “No, I am not aware of anybody being paroled on 15 years to life on a murder charge.”
Steven “Boston” Colver is accused of stabbing 47-year-old Joanne Witt to death while she slept in her El Dorado Hills home on June 12, 2009.
Prosecutors allege Colver and Tylar plotted the murder because Joanne had turned over evidence incriminating Colver in the statutory rape of Tylar, who was 14 at the time.
After the murder, the teens fled to San Francisco. They were found near a dumpster at a San Bruno shopping center on June 17, 2009.
Testimony from Wednesday revealed that Colver, at the time of his arrest, was in possession of a blue handled lock blade knife.