Tylar Witt, 14, began dating a boy named Stephen Colver, 19, although she didn’t present Colver as her boyfriend to her mother, Joanne Witt. Instead, she claimed he was a homosexual and a friend in need of room and board. Joanne agreed, but within two months she became suspicious of the relationship between her daughter and Colver. Finally, Joanne returned home early from work one evening and found the two about to engage in sex in Colver’s room. Joanne became irate and ordered Colver out of her house. She enlisted her work colleague Vinnie Canaponno to remove Colver’s belongings from his room. Canaponno also threatened that if Colver contacted Tylar again he would Tyle in “the east coast style and not the west coast style.”
Colver wasn’t intimidated and he snuck into Joanne’s home to see Tylar at least 20 times. During this time, he and Tylar plotted to kill Joanne so they could be together. Tylar told several friends she hated her mother and wished she would die in a terrible car accident.
On Jun 29 2009, when Joanne was asleep in her room, Tylar let Colver into their home. Colver retrieved a large knife from the kitchen, entered Joanne’s bedroom and stabbed her 20 times, nearly decapitating her. After Joanne’s murder, Tylar and Colver locked up the house and left. Days later, they associated happily with friends, and Colver admitted to two of his friends that he had murdered Tylar’s mother. Finally the two teenagers drove to San Francisco where they decided to commit suicide so they could “always be together.” They went to a motel and prepared an odd meal of Fruitloops and rat poison but the concoction failed to kill them.
Within days, the local police found the two changing their clothes behind a dumpster and arrested them. When police informed Tylar she was being charged for her mother’s murder, she wept, stated Colver was the real murderer, and asked for a lawyer. For his part, Colver attempted to deny their sexual relationship, but the police produced Tylar’s diary, in which she detailed their many explicit sexual encounters. Colver faced 20 years in prison yet he only showed concern for Tylar. Colver’s mother, Jan, refused to believe her son was guilty of Joanne’s murder. She was devastated by his statement of guilt to police, believing it was Tylar who had murdered her mother.
Colver’s defence lawyer, Weiner, insisted it was Tylar who stabbed her mother to death, then invited Colver over. However, Tylar was proven a liar during her interrogation by police. Tylar admitted she helped plan her mother’s murder. Prosecutors struck a deal: if Tylar testified against Colver, she would get a reduced sentence. Tylar claimed she was possessed by three spirits: “a demon from hell” named Toby, “Alex,” her inner angel and Tylar herself, a troubled 14-year-old girl. Colver was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. Tylar pled guilty to second degree murder and received 15 years to life.