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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — That loony chick who murdered a 9-year-old girl because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Alyssa Bustamante has pleaded guilty to the October 2009 murder of her neighbor, 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. She was only 15 when she slit the girl’s throat, strangled her and stabbed her before putting her in a grave she had dug previously.

In court, judge Pat Joyce instructed Bustamante to describe how she killed Olten.

“I strangled her and stabbed her in the chest,” Bustamante said looking the judge in the eye.

“Did you cut her throat too?” the judge asked.

“Yes,” Bustamante responded.

Elizabeth Olten

Originally charged with first-degree murder, Bustamante pleaded guilty to the lesser murder charge to avoid a trial and a possible life behind bars. In February, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce will decide how long Bustamante will spend in prison. A second-degree murder conviction can carry a sentence from anywhere to 10 years to life with the possibility of parole after about 25 years.

The prosecution agreeing to the lesser charge may have to do with the court blocking a confession Bustamante gave to a highway patrol officer and a juvenile officer back in 2009. Bustamante was interviewed by Highway Patrol Detective David Rice with Juvenile Officer Tobie Meyer present. During this videotaped interview, Bustamante admitted to killing Olten and described how she planned the murder for a week beforehand.

The judge said that Meyers used deceptive practices to illicit the confession, leading Bustamante to believe she was there for her best interests and implied she would only get treatment for her actions, not an adult sentence.

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“Ms. Meyer used deceptive tactics during the interrogation of defendant (Bustamante) by telling defendant that she was there as the defendant’s “advocate”,” Judge Joyce wrote in the order to suppress. “This deception likely mislead the defendant into believing that Ms. Meyer was there to look after her best interests when, in fact, this was not her role.”

Although Bustamante was in the top third of her class at Jefferson City High School and had never been in trouble with the law, she did attempt suicide in 2007, was a cutter and was receiving mental health treatment for depression.

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