EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Accused murderer Steven Colver has taken the stand in the murder case of his ex-girlfriend’s mother.
Colver has taken the stand following a DNA battle over whether or not DNA evidence found at the scene should be permitted. Low quantities of male DNA were found in a fingernail scraping of victim Joanne Witt.
Bob Blasier, part of OJ Simpson’s so-called “Dream Team”, is standing in for the defense to dismiss the DNA. He argued that DNA quantities are so low that they can’t determine whose DNA it is, and that the DNA was transferred through casual contact in the victim’s daily routine, not from a struggle with Colver.
When on the stand, Colver explained in detail his relationship with Witt, stating that they had a close relationship like “brother and sister” . He told the jury that she would confide in him about her mother’s drinking habits, and he once picked her up when she ran away.
Colver went on the say that Witt led him to believe that she was 16-years-old, but he learned of her real age the first time he met Joanne Witt because she was upset the two were hanging out due to his age. Colver went on the say that he developed feelings for Witt, but was worried because she was a minor.
Also, Colver testified that things were “great” when he first moved in; they were a normal family and he helped cook and do chores. But, he explained that Joanne and Tylar would have arguments that he would have to break up.
“Tylar and Joanne would occasionally have disagreements or arguments. I tried to be the mediator,” said Colver. “She had constantly talked about her disapproval of her mom drinking heavily, yelling at her sometimes, hitting her.”
Colver also spoke about “Toby”, Witt’s ‘demon. He went on to say that he noticed a big change in Witt’s behavior right after the two were caught on May 14th by Joanne, which is when Witt’s diary was given to the authorities.
He went on to say that Joanne yelled at the two of them and then left to play tennis, which is when Witt started sobbing, and was out of control.
“She began hyperventilating then something stopped – I thought she stopped breathing,” said Colver.
Shortly after, Colver explained that he thought about calling 911 until Witt sat up and looked at him. He told the jury that she was totally calm and rational, and said,” It’s okay, Boston.”
“She explained she was a demon who possesses Tylar’s body because Tylar wasn too fragile.”
Lawers Jeff Kravitz says Colver testifying may be a risky move.
“Obviously they’re going for a grand slam. If the jury believes him at all and says that he didn’t participate in this murder, he gets found not guilty; so his life is on the line,” said
Putting Colver on the stand may be the only way to cast doubt on Witt’s testimony, said Kravitz.