Posted: Jan 7, 2013 5:11 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Updated: Jan 8, 2013 8:27 AM
A second defendant in the Dystiny Myers murder case pleaded guilty Monday.
Cody Miller accepted a deal on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Dystiny Myers, 15, of Santa Maria, was found badly beaten and burned near Santa Margarita in 2010.
Five people were charged in her death.
Last week, one of the other defendants, Ty Michael Hill, was the first to plead guilty to first degree murder. Hill was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Miller will face 39 years to life with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced in May.
According to court testimony, on the night of the murder, Miller told first responders that he was forced into participating in Myers' murder.
He also said he saw two of the defendants beat Myers with a baseball bat before putting her in a canvas bag and taking her to Santa Margarita where she was burned and buried.
Judge Barry LaBarbera ruled that the statements Miller made can be used in the trial of the remaining three defendants.
In agreement with the plea deal, Miller will have to testify in that trial if he's called upon.
"What you're admitting and pleading guilty to is that you helped other people, commit willful, deliberate premeditated murder," said LaBarbera.
Miller quickly replied yes.
The District Attorney has set the date for Miller's sentencing for May 15.
The last three defendants will go on trial February 25.
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