In a case that plays like a script for a quirky indie film, a 15-year-old girl faces life behind bars for allegedly teaming up with her older boyfriend to murder her mother after she showed police the girl’s diary.
Tylar Witt was 14 this past June when her mother, Joanne Witt, 47, was found dead in their home in El Dorado Hills, a very upscale Northern California suburb. Prosecutors say Tylar drugged her mother and then her boyfriend, Steven “Boston” Colver, stabbed her 20 times and slashed her throat with a butcher knife.
El Dorado County Superior Court judge James Wagoner ruled last month that Tylar should be tried as an adult, noting she was charged “in the death of the very person who gave you life.”
Tylar Witt and Colver have pleaded not guilty and are due back in court Jan. 7 for a preliminary hearing.
Police say the unbelievable crime occurred after the mom caught on to the fact that a 19-year-old boarder in her house was not gay, as her daughter had claimed, but was her daughter’s lover. She learned this after discovering Tylar’s journal, which described in graphic detail how Tylar and Colver enjoyed having unprotected sex on the couch when mom wasn’t around. The journal also described Tylar’s fantasy of her mom, a heavy drinker, dying in a car accident.
Joanne Witt confronted her daughter, who denied having sex with Colver. Then Joanne Witt called the cops to turn in Colver for statutory rape, and gave sheriff’s deputies the journal.
The act only gave new inspiration to the teen’s writings. In “The Killer and his Raven,” a short story that cops say was written by Tylar, two lovers kill the girl’s mother for giving police her daughter’s diary.
“Late one night, her mother was drunk as usual,” the story reads. “She spiked her drink with herbs from the forest. Then she called her man, her 19-year-old man, and at 1 in the morning she snuck him into her bedroom, leading him to her, and he stabbed her in her sleep, killing her, freeing themselves.”
Truth and Fiction Overlap
The truth may be at least as strange. Police testified that, in the minutes after Joanne Witt’s slaying, the two climbed over a fence – because, to walk out the gate, they would had to have punched a code, leaving evidence of their presence at the crime scene. Then the alleged Bay Area Bonnie and Clyde got stoned with friends, cut and dyed their hair and shared their plans to hide out in San Francisco.
Cops tracked the pair to a Bay Area Holiday Inn. In their room was rat poison, breakfast cereal, a suicide note, condoms, marijuana and a DVD of the 2001 movie Donnie Darko (about a crazy teen with a troubled girlfriend whom he kills for).
It was only a couple of days after Joanne Witt’s body was discovered that police arrested the pair at a strip mall near the San Francisco Airport.
Tylar has appeared calm and unemotional during hearings. During their arraignment earlier this week, she and Colver sat a row apart and acted as if they didn’t know each other. Tylar’s attorney claims she was a love-struck teen, manipulated by her much older boyfriend, but the prosecution says Tylar is “a smart, manipulative woman.”
Mary Witt, an aunt by marriage, tells reporters, “I’m really scared for her. In some ways, maybe she is mature. In some ways, she is immature. She didn’t even make it through the 9th grade. She is not very savvy.”