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The third week of Steven “Boston” Colver’s murder trial began Tuesday morning with witnesses reading a good-bye letter penned by Colver who, along with his former teenage lover, had planned on killing himself after the June 2009 slaying of Joanne Witt.
Jeremy Buckman, an El Dorado County sheriff’s crime scene investigator, read aloud a letter discovered in the car that belonged to the now 21-year-old defendant.
Colver, along with 16-year-old Tylar Marie Witt, fled to San Francisco after the June 12, 2009, murder of Witt’s mother, Joanne. The young couple had planned on killing themselves in a hotel room by ingesting pellets of rat poison.
In his letter, Colver thanked his mother for instilling in him a “sense of moral justice.”
“She has brought me up to be considerate to others at all times,” he wrote.
Colver’s letter also expressed his regret for not appreciating his mother when he had the chance.
“I love her very much and I wish that I could have been a better son to her,” it read.
Colver also likens the forbidden love he and Tylar shared to “Angel Sanctuary,” a series of illustrated comics.
“I could go to hell and back for her … bear eternal damnation just to be with her and know that she is happy.”
Colver concludes the letter by apologizing for forming the suicide pact with his girlfriend, then 14.
“I have always viewed suicide as the permanent solution to the weak,” he wrote. “If I kill myself, it proves the world is stronger than I.”
Buckman also read a letter penned by Tylar, written to Colver.
“I love you more than I could ever explain,” the girl wrote. “The only thing that I could think and dream about was you.”
In the letter Tylar Witt tells her former boyfriend that the two must fight to keep their love hidden.
“I will not abandon our love, but we must hide it in the darkest shadows,” she wrote.
At the end of the letter, Tylar left written instructions for Colver to either burn or hide the piece of paper.
Another letter, also written by Tylar, said she missed Colver’s “boyish laughter” and that his love “made life worth living.”
In addition to reading the letters, Buckman then testified about the discovery of a “makeshift shrine” found adjacent to Tylar Witt’s room.
The altar, according to the witness, featured an upside down laundry basket with three bowls and candle holders on top.
Inside of the bowls an “unknown food type” was found.
“It didn’t look like something you’d set up to eat on,” said Buckman.
Before the Tuesday afternoon recess, attorneys laid out the rest of the afternoon, which would likely feature the final prosecution witnesses and several defense witnesses called out of order.
Also, attorneys in the case agreed to stipulate that Tylar Witt, who last year pleaded guilty to her mother’s murder, has attended church once a week inside of juvenile hall for the last six to eight months.
Colver is accused of the first-degree murder of 47-year-old Joanne Witt. Prosecutors allege the defendant and Witt’s daughter, Tylar, plotted the murder because Joanne Witt disapproved of their relationship and had filed a statutory rape complaint against Colver.
Colver moved in with the Witts in early 2009, tricking Joanne Witt into believing he was Tylar’s gay friend. But after the pair were found naked together, Colver was told to leave.
Prosecutors claim Colver stabbed Joanne Witt at least 20 times while she slept in her El Dorado Hills home on June 12, 2009.
The young couple then fled to San Francisco, where they committed an unsuccessful suicide attempt. They were found on June 17, 2009, by San Bruno police.
Last year, Tylar Witt pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree killing as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. In exchange for her testimony against Colver, Tylar could have her conviction reduced to a second-degree count, which would reduce her sentence to 15 years to life in prison.
During opening statements, Colver’s attorney told jurors that his client had nothing to do with the murder.
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