SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An El Dorado County man convicted of killing his teenage lover’s mother may have reason to hope for a new trial and it’s all because of a jail house television interview.
Earlier this year, Steven Colver was convicted of murdering his then-girlfriend’s mother, Joanne Witt.
Colver is now serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
His ex-girlfriend, Tylar Witt, will serve at least 15 years behind bars before she has a chance for parole under a plea deal she took for her role in her mother’s murder. Under the plea deal, Tylar was also forced to testify against Colver during his trial.
But in a recent interview from the El Dorado County juvenile hall on ABC’s 20-20, Witt admits she still struggles to be truthful.
“I still have a really hard time being honest. I panic when I get in trouble and the first thing I want to do is lie to get out of it,” Witt in an interview with the ABC’s 20/20.
According to defense attorney Jennifer Mouzis, Tylar’s new statement could help Steven win an appeal.
“This is potentially a huge victory for Steven Colver, if this can lead to a new trial. When I hear her say that to this day she cannot be truthful, if I’m Steven Colver’s attorney, what I am hearing is that during that trial she could not be truthful,” said Mouzis. “And what I’m hearing is that there is new evidence that I can use on my client’s behalf to get him a new trial.”
Steven’s defense was he did not kill Joanne, saying he showed up after Tylar already murdered her mother.
But, Tylar and the prosecution proved to a jury that Colver was the one who stabbed Joanne again and again.
“That’s very, very damaging when that’s your star witness pointing the finger at Steven Colver,” explained Mouzis.
But Mouzis admits getting a new trial won’t be easy.
“I think all appeals are very difficult to win,” Mouzis admitted. “I mean there’s never a high likelihood of success. The appellate court can always say ‘Maybe she did lie but the other evidence is overwhelming towards his guilt’ and deny a grant of new trial.”
CBS13 contacted the prosecuting attorney who said she felt it’s inappropriate to comment on an appeal without knowing the facts.