Steven Colver of El Dorado County has been sentenced to life without parole for the 2009 murder of his then 14-year-old girlfriend’s mother, Joanne Witt, stabbing her 20 times as she lay in her own bed. Tylar Witt, who is now 16, has been convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to a lighter 15 years to life for testifying against her former boyfriend.
And if you haven’t already heard of this national story, which I’ve followed because it happened in my community, what might you ask was the motive for this heinous crime? How could a young girl, a daughter, plot to kill her own mother and then stand there while it was done?
By all accounts, the mother, Joanne Witt, has been described as a caring, protective mother who was adamant about ending the relationship between her minor daughter and then 19-year-old Colver, even saying she’d have him arrested for statutory rape.
And that sealed Joanne Witt’s fate. She loved her daughter so much that she wanted to protect her from things she didn’t think her daughter was ready for, and then murdered for it.
I also believe the presiding judge summed up the true tragedy of the case during Tylar Witt’s sentencing. “I’m sorry, Ms. Witt,” he said, “because the person who loved you more than anyone in the world, without reservation, is gone.”
I know this case is an extreme example, but kids do stupid things under the influence of their friends all the time, especially when they get older and their peers naturally begin to take a more significant role in their lives.
I would love to know: How do you stay connected to your teens?