Life in Prison with Possibility of Parole for Teen Murderer

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri teen convicted in the brutal slaying of her 9-year-old neighbor was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on Wednesday.

Alyssa Bustamante, 18, had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2009 stabbing and strangling death of Elizabeth Olten.

Bustamante, who was 15 at the time of the murder, wrote a chilling entry in her journal on the day of the murder, saying, “”I just (obscenity) killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead. I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the “ohmygawd I can’t do this” feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.”

During the sentencing hearing, Bustamante’s lawyers argued that the teen was depressed and suicidal, and had just increased her dosage of the anti-depressant drug Prozac in the weeks before the murder, which led to unpredictable and violent behavior.

Bustamante’s grandmother and legal guardian, Karen Brooke, says that the teen seemed happier than usual that day, as she left for a church youth dance that evening. Brooke says that Bustamante was abandoned by her mother, who drank heavily and used drugs, in 2007, and that the then-13 year old teen attempted to kill herself not long after.

Prosecutors argued that Prozac did not lead to the murder, saying that the teen had premeditated many aspects of the crime, including digging a hole in which to hide Olten’s body in the days before the murder, and convincing her younger sister to lure Olten outside to play on the day of the attack.

Bustamante’s admission of guilt last month was part of a plea agreement with prosecutors who dropped the first-degree murder charge that would have sent her to prison for life without the chance of parole.

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