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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 11:47 pm | Fair 52º


Jury Selection Begins in Slaying of Santa Maria Teen

Rhonda Wisto
Rhonda Wisto

The trial for a mother and son charged with the murder of a 15-year-old Santa Maria girl is set to begin Wednesday when 125 prospective jurors will be summoned to the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

Frank York and Rhonda Wisto are two of the five defendants originally charged in the slaying of Dystiny Myers. All others have agreed to plea bargains.

According to testimony from the preliminary hearing, York told a sheriff’s detective his mother ordered the 2010 killing, saying “stuff has to happen.”

While Wisto allegedly ordered the attack because she believed Myers had disrespected her, York told the detective he was hesitant.

“She told him not to worry and that it would be OK,” Robert Burgeson testified in 2011. “She told him she loved him.”

Investigators believe Myers was punched, kicked and hit with a baseball bat inside Wisto’s Nipomo home, where a bat with York’s prints was allegedly found. Myers’ partially burned body was found in Santa Margarita hours later.

Another defendant, Cody Miller, was attacked not far from where the victim’s body was found. This week charges of attempted murder on Miller were dropped for both York and Wisto.

Murder charges, with enhancements for conspiracy, remain for Myers’ death.

Frank York
Frank York

Jury selection will begin with hardship requests. Jurors can ask to be dismissed for various conflicts, including extreme financial burden, school conflicts and health concerns.

Attorneys are expected to begin questioning jurors sometime next week.

Patrick S. Pemberton is a reporter with the San Luis Obispo County Tribune. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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