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Murder Trial Delayed For Alyssa Bustamante

August 25, 2011 at 9:00 am by  

ST. MARTINS, Missouri – One trial I am looking forward to is the trial of Alyssa Bustamante, the teen accused of killing her neighbor, 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. I had hoped it would start as scheduled, but now it looks like it won’t start until the beginning of next year.

Olten vanished while walking home from a friend’s house back in 2009. The day after she disappeared, the older sister of the friend Olten was visiting, a then 15-year-old Bustamante, led police to Olten’s dead body.

The mentally disturbed teen, with a history of cutting and a suicide attempt at 13, admitted to police that she killed the girl. After strangling, stabbing and cutting the girl’s throat, she buried her in a grave behind her house that she had dug a week prior. She told police she killed the girl because she wanted to know what it felt like.

Her attorney wanted her tried as a juvenile and kept in a juvenile facility where she would receive better treatment and increase her chances of rehabilitation. But because of the vicious nature of the crime, Bustamante would be indicted on adult charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. She has pleaded not guilty.

The trial was supposed to start next month, but prosecutors said that it would take six more weeks for some evidence to be tested. Afterwards, the teen’s defense attorneys would need to evaluate that evidence. So now, according to, Judge Pat Joyce, jury selection could take place Jan. 10-11 and that the trial could start immediately after.

I have always been particularly interested in juvenile murderers of the sociopathic kind, in a “why did they do it” kind of way, and Bustamante fascinates me. She was in the top third of her class and had never been in trouble before. She’s described as intelligent, sneaky, depressed and  mentally disturbed. She reminds me a lot of Brenda Ann Spencer.

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