User Login    
 + Register
News : Teen Killer Wants To Undo Guilty Plea
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/30 4:30:05 (810 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
2015/6/30 6:31:13 - Mosaic To Offer Reduced Cost Sports Physicals
2015/6/30 4:47:08 - Son Arrested After Argument Over Spoiled Meat
2015/6/30 4:34:11 - Woman Gives Birth Alone On Back Road, Is Stranded With Newborn For Three Days
2015/6/30 4:21:04 - Man In Custody After Moberly Police Chase
2015/6/30 4:16:46 - Officer Crashes Into Home When Responding To What Turned Out As Prank Call
2015/6/30 4:10:10 - Missouri Man Sentenced To 6 Years In Synthetic Pot Case
2015/6/30 4:04:35 - Daycare Worker Arrested For Battery On 1-Year-Old
2015/6/29 7:40:02 - Rotary To Sponsor Exchange Student
2015/6/29 7:23:50 - Sullivan County Crowns Fair Queen
2015/6/29 6:36:20 - Fire Damages Trenton Residence
2015/6/29 6:32:09 - Saturday Accident At 13th And Cedar In Trenton Involves Gallatin And Trenton Residents
2015/6/29 4:51:25 - As Many As 16 Inured By Lightning Strike; Dog Killed
2015/6/29 4:39:47 - Air Show Continued After Tragedy
2015/6/29 4:35:18 - Missouri Trooper Shoots Suspect After I-70, U.S. 54 Pursuit
2015/6/29 4:20:00 - USDA Proposes Healthier Food For Child, Adult Day Cares
2015/6/29 4:15:22 - St. Louis' Minimum Wage Hike May Be Dead After Aldermanic Surprise
2015/6/29 4:09:35 - Man Convicted Of Sodomy With Child Commits Suicide
2015/6/29 4:00:14 - Good Samaritan Allows Woman To Hear Her Husband"s Voice Before He Dies
2015/6/29 4:00:00 - Poplar Bluff Granted Order Of Protection Against Sheriff's Department
2015/6/26 6:32:50 - 4 Injured When Vehicles Collide At Utica Intersection
2015/6/26 5:27:31 - Missouri State Fair Competition Deadline Approaching
2015/6/26 4:36:34 - National Guard Truck Crashes Into Overpass
2015/6/26 4:32:27 - Former Moberly School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Sex Crimes
2015/6/26 4:25:47 - Nitrogen Timing Critical In Wet Years
2015/6/26 4:17:06 - Grandmother Charged In Murder For Hire Plot Of Former Son-In-Law
2015/6/26 4:11:09 - North Central Missouri Fair Expands For 2015 Run
2015/6/25 8:55:07 - Chillicothe Firefighters Respond To Fire At Powerplant
2015/6/25 8:49:41 - Supreme Court Upholds Nationwide Health Care Law Subsidies
2015/6/25 7:55:31 - Stolen ATV Leads To Big Tow Fees For Victim
2015/6/25 7:51:56 - Missouri Woman Charged With Murder After Shoe Argument Turns Violent



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM