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Colver takes the stand; prosecutors question his credibility

By June 11, 2011

In the second day of his testimony, Steven “Boston” Colver admitted to prosecutors that he repeatedly lied to friends, family and authorities not only to protect himself but also the forbidden relationship he had with then 14-year-old Tylar Marie Witt.

Deputy district attorney Lisette Suder, in her cross-examination of the 21-year-old murder suspect, drove home the point that Colver’s lies were told out of self-preservation, telling Colver, “In each of the times you lied you had something to lose.

“Isn’t it true you have something to lose right now?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” replied Colver.

Suder questioned why Colver took such great pains to cover up the 2009 murder of Joanne Witt, 47, when he and Witt’s daughter, Tylar, were going to kill themselves three days later in San Francisco.

Colver testified that, upon arriving at the Witt house late on June 11, 2009, Tylar welcomed him into the residence, holding a bloody knife and confessing to the murder of her mother. Colver said he took the knife from his lover and, at the behest of the 14-year-old, closed the windows, mindful of wiping away any fingerprints he might have left behind.

“I didn’t want to leave anything of mine there,” he said.

On Thursday Colver told jurors he was shocked by Tylar’s actions and had to see for himself whether Joanne Witt was dead.

“I didn’t want to believe what Tylar was telling me,” he said.

Colver said he found Joanne laying in her bed, but he could not tell whether she was alive in the dark. So Colver touched Joanne’s leg, right above her knee, he said.

“I touched her leg to see if there was a response,” he testified. “There wasn’t.”

Earlier last week, a criminologist with the Department of Justice testified that male DNA was found not only on Joanne’s leg but also in her fingernail scrapings.

Prosecutors displayed a large crime scene photo of the victim’s bloodied face. Colver appeared to look at it during his testimony but continued to deny knowing the woman was dead before touching her leg.

Colver is accused of stabbing Joanne Witt more than 20 times. Prosecutors allege Colver and Tylar plotted the killing and suicide pact because Joanne had filed a statutory rape complaint against Colver with authorities.

Tylar pleaded guilty to her mother’s murder last year. In exchange for her cooperation with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, she could have her conviction reduced to a second-degree murder count and face a 15 years to life in prison sentence.

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Jim Ratajczak


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