Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Forbidden Love: Steven Colver and Tylar Witt

Steven Testifies


Steven Colver
Steven Colver

By all accounts, Steven Colver was a polite young man. When he took the stand in his own defense, his close-cropped hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and calm demeanor fit that description perfectly. And it was with a cool and measured delivery that Colver told the jury his version of the night Joanne Witt died. He said that when he arrived at Tylar's home that night, her clothes were stained red and she held a bloody knife in her hand. "I did it for us," Colver recalled her saying, "I did it. I finally did it. Mom is gone forever."

Colver said his first meeting with Tylar's alter-ego Toby occurred a few weeks earlier when Joanne had found out about the sexual relationship. Tylar had hyperventilated and collapsed from the strain — she awoke as suddenly as she'd passed out, but she seemed different. According to Colver, "She told me that she was a demon that possessed Tylar's body, and Tylar was too weak to be in control."

On cross-examination, the State went on the attack, forcing Colver to admit to a fascination with knives and that he owned many varieties of swords. Prosecutors asked whether the motive to kill Joanne Witt was stronger for Steven than for Tylar because he faced jail time if Joanne continued to press the statutory rape case against him. If Colver was ultimately branded a sex offender, he could kiss his dreams of becoming a teacher goodbye. Soon it would be up to the jury to decide if his freedom would be gone as well.