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Colver trial: Tense dinner recalled

By May 26, 2011

The father of suspected killer Steven “Boston” Colver was called by prosecutors Wednesday morning to testify about his son’s decision to move into the El Dorado Hills home of Joanne Witt several months before she was found stabbed to death in her bed.

Richard Colver told jurors that his son approached him with the idea to move in with Joanne Witt and her 14-year-old daughter, Tylar, in March 2009.

At the time, Richard Colver said he was unaware of the romantic relationship between his son and Tylar.

Steven Colver, according to his father, called Tylar Witt his “little sister.”

Richard Colver was receptive to his son’s idea but wanted to first schedule a dinner between himself, his son and the Witts.

“I wanted to meet Joanne, make sure she was normal,” he said.

The group met at the Folsom Macaroni Grill for a brief dinner, but not before Richard Colver and his girlfriend stopped by Joanne Witt’s home to pick up Joanne and her daughter.

Instead, Richard Colver was met at the front door by his son and Tylar, who said they would be meeting them at the restaurant.

“(Tylar) said that Joanne was asleep, had basically passed out drunk,” testified Richard Colver.

The Colvers and Witts did meet for dinner that night, but Richard Colver said the meal was unusual.

“It was really odd,” he said. “You could feel the tension between Tylar and her mother. You could cut it with a knife.”

Richard Colver said an “agitated” Joanne Witt began talking about a job she took with El Dorado County that, in her opinion, was below her intelligence level.

Richard testified that Tylar would interrupt her mother to say how smart she thought she, herself, was, calling herself a “genius” and saying she possessed an intelligence that was “off the charts.”

“It was like they were trying to one-up each other,” he said. “Tylar would talk about how smart she (Tylar) is.”

During the meal, Richard said he could see no signs of Joanne Witt being drunk.

The dinner apparently was enough to assuage Richard Colver’s concerns, as he agreed to let his son rent a room with Joanne Witt and her daughter.

“I didn’t have any reservations,” he said. “I could tell he was a calming influence” on the relationship between Tylar and Joanne.

When Steven Colver was told to move out of the Witt house, he apparently told his father that he was leaving because of Joanne Witt’s drinking — not because he and Tylar were found together in Colver’s bedroom, mostly naked.

Steven Colver is accused of stabbing Joanne Witt at least 20 times while she slept in her El Dorado Hills home on June 12, 2009.

Prosecutors say the defendant and Tylar Witt planned the murder because Joanne Witt had told authorities about the sexual relationship he had with her underage daughter.

Tylar pleaded guilty to her mother’s first-degree murder last year. She will be called by prosecutors to testify against her former lover. If she fully cooperates with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, her conviction will be reduced to a second-degree murder charge and she will face 15 years to life in prison.

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Jim Ratajczak


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