Sacto 9-1-1
September 15, 2011
ABC interview: Convicted teen lover Tylar Witt says boyfriend betrayed her

By Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com

Tylar Marie Witt, who as a 14-year-old girl summoned her 19-year-old boyfriend to kill her mother, says she is heartbroken Stephen Paul Colver later claimed that she was the one who fatally stabbed Joanne Witt in their El Dorado Hills home.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Colver-Witt murder trial

"When I found out that he was going to point the finger at me, the only thing I could question was ...that he told me that he was gonna love me no matter what -- forever," Witt says in an interview with the ABC's 20/20 to be broadcast Friday night. "For all eternity -- ever. And I guess that's not true anymore."

On Aug. 12, Colver, 21, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for brutally stabbing Joanne Witt at least 20 times in June 2009 after the mother reported him to authorities for statutory rape over his relationship with her daughter.

Tylar Witt, now 16, testified against Colver at the trial and was sentenced to 15 years to life under a plea deal that could make her eligible for parole at 29.

In the 20/20 interview, conducted at El Dorado County juvenile hall after her sentencing, the girl says she missed her mother and felt let down by her lover, Colver.

Tylar Witt wasn't in the courtroom when Colver testified that he arrived at Joanne Witt's house and that the girl greeted him with a bloody knife, saying, "I did it for us." But she learned beforehand he was going to claim she carried out the killing alone.

"It's like somebody telling you that they are gonna love you no matter what, and you have depended on them, and then they take it away," she says in the interview.

Witt testified during the trial that she was carrying a kitchen knife from the home and that Colver had a chef's knife from his restaurant job when the teens ascended the stairs to kill Joanne Witt while she slept. But the girl said she lost her nerve, collapsed outside the room, covered her ears and hummed while her boyfriend did the killing.

The two teens later fled to San Francisco, where they tried to kill themselves by ingesting Fruit Loops and red velvet cake laced with rat poison. When that failed, they each testified, they contemplated cutting their wrists or leaping from their hotel room but couldn't muster the nerve.

In the 20/20 interview, Witt said she wondered if the suicide attempt failed "because God didn't want it to work." She added: "Maybe I needed to be punished on Earth."

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