User Login    
 + Register
News : Teen Killer Wants To Undo Guilty Plea
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/30 4:30:05 (734 reads) News by the same author

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri teen who wrote that killing a young neighbor girl was an "ahmazing" thrill wants a judge to overturn a guilty plea that she now says was made under the threat of a lifetime in prison.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Alyssa Bustamante was to appear in court Thursday for a hearing on whether to set aside her plea in the 2009 slaying of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten in a rural community just west of Jefferson City. Bustamante was 15 at the time and wrote in her diary on the night of the killing that it was an "ahmazing" and "pretty enjoyable" experience.

Bustamante was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Shortly before she was to go to trial, Bustamante pleaded guilty in January 2012 to a reduced charge of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life with a chance of parole.

She also pleaded guilty to armed criminal action for using a knife in the slaying and received an additional 30-year sentence to run at the conclusion of her life sentence.

Five months after Bustamante pleaded guilty, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a separate case that juveniles cannot face automatic life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Bustamante's new attorney is citing that ruling as a reason to undo her guilty plea.

"The threat of (life without parole) as a mandatory sentence was allowed to intimidate Alyssa into accepting a guilty plea she would not have otherwise accepted," Columbia attorney Gary Brotherton wrote in documents filed with the Cole County Circuit Court.

Brotherton declined an interview in advance of Bustamante's hearing.

Prosecutor Mark Richardson said Bustamante's claims "do not have any merit" and her original sentence should stand.

"Generally, they're very big long shots to try to prove that somehow some bad advice caused a person to plead guilty when they otherwise wouldn't have," Richardson said in an interview.

Bustamante's attorney claims her due process rights were violated because the original first-degree murder charge would have resulted in an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. He contends in court documents that her actual sentence is similarly unconstitutional because "it does not provide her with any realistic opportunity for release."

At the time of her sentencing, the Missouri Department of Corrections said Bustamante would have to serve 35 years and five months before she is eligible for parole. She's currently listed as a prisoner at an eastern Missouri facility.

Brotherton's court filing also argues that Bustamante's original attorneys provided ineffective advice. Among other things, it says they pressured her during a more than half hour jailhouse visit to make a quick decision to plead guilty to second-degree murder without explaining that a pending Supreme Court case could have affected her range of punishment.

Evidence presented during Bustamante's 2012 sentencing hearing revealed she had dug a shallow grave in the woods several days before the slaying and used her younger sister to lure Elizabeth with an invitation to play. Bustamante said she had a surprise for Elizabeth in the forest but instead strangled her, sliced her throat and stabbed her. After hundreds of volunteers searched for two days, Bustamante led authorities to Elizabeth's body, buried in a wooded area about a half-mile from Bustamante's house.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/12/20 21:31:01 - Rice's Buzzer-Beater Earns Illinois Braggin' Rights Over Mizzou
2014/12/20 21:30:00 - Sierra Michaelis Has "Career Night", Mizzou Wins At Wake Forest
2014/12/20 21:27:53 - Haney Refiles For Chillicothe's Mayoral Position
2014/12/20 21:24:25 - Trenton Fire Damages Rapid Removal Trash Truck
2014/12/20 21:18:16 - Friday Accident Injures Browning Woman
2014/12/20 21:15:27 - Traffic Accident Reported Near Mount Moriah
2014/12/20 7:00:00 - NCMC Women Swept On Florida Road Trip
2014/12/20 6:55:42 - Sporting KC To Open 2015 Season Against Nemesis New York
2014/12/20 6:47:35 - Mizzou Starting Receiver To Miss Citrus Bowl
2014/12/20 6:40:58 - Trenton Gets Low Seeds For Ultra-Competitive Lawson Invitational Tournament
2014/12/20 6:34:29 - NCMC Holiday Hoops Begins With Wellington-Napoleon Sweep
2014/12/20 6:27:53 - Winston Boys Go Overtime To Win HDC Tournament Title
2014/12/19 17:20:11 - KC Royals Sign Starting Pitcher Edinson Volquez
2014/12/19 17:20:00 - Medlen In, Giavotella Out In Kansas City
2014/12/19 17:16:45 - California JUCO Player Verbals To Mizzou
2014/12/19 17:09:57 - Chillicothe Man Involved In I-435 Multi-Vehicle Accident
2014/12/19 17:04:42 - Thursday Accident Near Newtown Injures Area Women
2014/12/19 17:00:52 - Moore Files For Chillicothe Councilman-At-Large
2014/12/19 16:56:56 - Trial for Trenton Man Accused Of Murder Begins In January
2014/12/19 16:50:42 - Princeton Medical Clinic Adds X-Rays
2014/12/19 16:46:25 - Unionville Man Wins Patrol Trooper Award
2014/12/19 16:41:05 - Friday Morning Wreck Injures Cameron Man
2014/12/19 16:37:52 - Bethany Native Resigns Maryville Superintendent Position
2014/12/18 15:10:26 - 550 Million Year Old Fossils Provide New Clues about Fossil Formation
2014/12/18 15:10:00 - Daniel, Maclin, Coffman Highlight Mizzou's 2014 Hall Of Fame Class
2014/12/18 15:03:45 - Gallatin Man Organizing Regional Horticulture Conference
2014/12/18 14:58:51 - Upgraded Ketcham Center Set To Host 10th Annual Holiday Hoops
2014/12/18 14:48:10 - Royals Add To Pitching Staff, Signing Ex-Atlanta Brave Kris Medlen
2014/12/18 14:31:14 - Buchanan County Inmate Found Dead
2014/12/18 14:26:33 - Thursday Morning Accident Injures Jamesport Man



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM