Teenage Couple Murdered Mother Who Accused Daughter’s Older Boyfriend Of Statutory Rape

After the cold-blooded crime, the two “were kissing and holding hands along the street,” the prosecutor says.

Joanne Witt, pictured here, was in bed at her home in El Dorado Hills when she was attacked and stabbed at least 20 times on June 11, 2009.

Joanne Witt, a Northern California woman, was found brutally murdered, and her daughter and the girl’s boyfriend would end up behind bars for the cold-blooded crime.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "People Magazine Investigates")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "People Magazine Investigates")

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Northern California woman was found brutally murdered, and her daughter and the girl’s boyfriend would end up behind bars for the cold-blooded crime.

Sometime late in the evening on June 11, 2009, Joanne Witt, 47, was in bed at her home in El Dorado Hills when she was attacked and stabbed at least 20 times. Her throat was slit.

An investigation determined male DNA found under Joanne’s fingernails belonged to 19-year-old Steven “Boston” Colver. At the time, Colver was dating the victim’s 14-year-old daughter, Tylar Witt.

The teenagers reportedly first met at a coffee shop. Joanne, initially believing the pair’s story that Colver was gay and they were just friends, let Colver move into her home as a way to earn extra money to pay the mortgage, according to CBS News.

Prosecutor Lisette Suder told the outlet that shortly before the murder, Joanne walked into Colver’s room and caught him and her daughter “in a compromising position ... they had just or were about to engage in a sexual relationship.”

Joanne kicked Colver out, but the teenagers continued seeing each other, and she went to police and accused him of statutory rape.

As proof, Tylar later testified, her mother gave detectives her journal, which “depicted very explicit writings of different sexual positions, different encounters — things that ... made it very clear that in fact, they had a sexual relationship," Suder said.

Tylar, who took a plea deal in 2010 in exchange for a second-degree murder charge, told the court she “went into a full-blown panic attack, hyperventilating, screaming, shaking” after her mother found the journal, according to ABC News. “Everything was in that diary,” she noted. “There was no way he was going to get out of the charges.”

Investigators reportedly also located a journal belonging to Colver that pointed to a possible motive for the slaying. According to People, he allegedly wrote in one entry: “It is a true test when faced with the task of taking the life of another to be with the one that you love.”

Prosecutor Suder claimed Colver and Tylar together made the decision to kill Joanne.

Tylar testified she was standing outside her mother’s bedroom at the time of the murder. “I put my hands on my ears, closed my eyes, and hummed," she told the court, ABC News reported.

Tylar recalled Joanne begged for the savage attack to stop. After Colver killed her mother, Tylar testified he emerged from her mother’s bedroom. She said he looked “in shock,” was covered in blood and had a tear under his eye. “I hugged him and told him everything was going to be OK,” she told the court.

According to Suder, Tylar and Colver didn’t show any remorse following the murder and claimed the couple “were hanging out with their friends ... they were kissing and holding hands along the street” and “living their life without Joanne."

A jury convicted Colver in June 2011 of first-degree murder. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Tylar was granted parole in August 2022, online prison records show.

For more on this case, tune into People Magazine Investigates: "Star Crossed Lovers" on ID Sept. 11 at 9/8c. Stream more episodes of People Magazine Investigates on Max.

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