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Colver trial: Defendant confesses to ‘God’

By May 19, 2011

Attorney for Steven Colver, Dain Weiner, prepares for Wednesday's proceedings.mocrat photo by Shelly Thorene

Attorney for Steven Colver, Dain Weiner, prepares for Wednesday's proceedings. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

The morning after Joanne Witt was stabbed to death, Steven “Boston” Colver showed off the bloody murder weapon and confessed to the killing, said the defendant’s frequent drug partner and former boyfriend.

Matthew Widman, 19, nicknamed “God” by friends, testified Thursday in Placerville’s Main Street courthouse that Colver, 21, admitted to killing the mother of Colver’s then-girlfriend, 16-year-old Tylar Witt, while the trio smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine in Colver’s father’s kitchen.

Widman told El Dorado County jurors that Colver and Tylar arrived at his parents’ house the morning of June 12, 2009, with black hair dye and told him that they intended to kill themselves.

At first, Colver and Tylar did not tell Widman why they formed the suicide pact, the witness said.

Later that day, the friends drove to Colver’s father’s house and “smoked a little weed, did some coke.”

Colver then went to his car, returned with a white shopping bag and displayed the large knife he used to “murder Ty’s mom,” Widman testified.

“It looked like a butcher knife,” said Widman, who noted that it was “pretty much” covered in blood.

Colver did not say why he stabbed Joanne Witt to death, but said he stabbed her in the throat and stomach, the witness testified.

Widman also said he was told by Tylar Witt that she “watched her mom die” and that Joanne Witt’s last words were, “No, Boston, no!”

The witness told jurors that he was “shocked” by the confession. Widman called Colver, with whom he once had a romantic relationship, “one of the nicest people he had ever met.”

“He never struck me as the kind of person to do something like that,” said Widman.

According to the witness, Colver and Tylar Witt said good-bye before fleeing to San Francisco.

Days later, Widman received a package from the couple containing several letters, Tylar Witt’s journal, a medallion and a necklace, all of which were turned over to authorities.

During defense attorney Dain Weiner’s cross-examination, Widman noted that Tylar Witt did not seem particularly distraught or emotional over her mother’s death.

In fact, Widman recalled being told previously by Tylar that the girl’s life would be better if her mother was “gone.”

On the other hand, Colver appeared to his friend to be more withdrawn than usual.

The darkly dressed witness, whose jet black hair was combed down over his eyes, had a difficult time fielding questions from both attorneys, often answering with, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.”

Despite Thursday’s testimony, Colver has maintained his innocence in the killing.

During Weiner’s opening statement earlier this week, the attorney said Tylar Witt acted alone when she killed Joanne Witt and that the El Dorado Hills single mother was dead before Colver arrived at the Witt house on the evening of June 11, 2009.

Colver is accused of murdering Joanne Witt after learning he had been reported to authorities for the statutory rape of Tylar Witt, who was 14 at the time.

Tylar Witt has already pleaded guilty to her mother’s slaying. She will be called as a witness to testify against her former lover.

If convicted, Colver faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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Jim Ratajczak

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