By Anne Meyer
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
11:43 PM CST, December 7, 2011
(BUTLER COUNTY, Kan.)
Two teenagers are officially charged with first degree murder for the death of an Augusta woman. 19-year-old Jacob Hoyt and 19-year-old Lyndsay Giovinazzo made their first appearance in Butler County Wednesday afternoon. They are also charged with theft and arson.
Hoyt did ask the judge if Kansas has a death penalty. Kansas does, but this case does not qualify.
"There are certain additional statutory elements that need to be proved factually to meet capitol murder designation, none of those apply here," said Butler County District Attorney Darrin Devinney.
The teens are accused of killing 69-year-old Loyce Cody, Hoyt's grandmother. Cody was found dead in her Augusta home Monday. Authorities say she died from strangulation or asphyxiation.
Police went to Cody's home Monday for a welfare check after she didn't show up for work. She was a teacher at Cessna Elementary in Wichita.
After police found Cody, they realized her car had been stolen. In court Wednesday, authorities stated the teens also stole Cody's debit card and some candy.
Monday afternoon, police spotted Hoyt and Giovinazzo in the stolen vehicle. The teens drove past another crime scene police were working, a car on fire. Police believe the teens stole the vehicle that was on fire from Independence. It's unclear how they obtained it, but it's now under investigation.
"you never want to think that a homicide like this is going to happen in your community," Devinney said.
The teens are each being held on a $1 million bond. The judge says they cannot have contact with each other. Hoyt asked the judge if there is a death penalty in Kansas. The judge says this is not a capital murder case.
Both are scheduled to appear back in court January 23 for a preliminary hearing.
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