Teenage Girl Gets Life with Possibility of Parole

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 in Legislation, National Issues, Personal Injury

Alyssa Bustamonte in a 2009 photo, courtesy of the Cole County Sheriff's Department

Alyssa Bustamonte, 18, was sentenced today for the murder of a 9-year-old girl in which she strangled, cut, and stabbed the victim in order to “know what it felt like to kill someone.” Bustamonte gets life in prison with the possibility of parole, avoiding a straight life sentence in an adult prison.

Bustamonte committed the crime when she was 15 in her hometown of St. Martin, a rural town west of Jefferson City, Missouri. She confessed to prosecutors that she strangled her victim Elizabeth Olten, then repeatedly stabbed her in the chest before slicing her throat. Olten’s body was then buried in a shallow grave under a pile of leaves.

Her defense claimed that her depression and prescription of the drug Prozac made her more prone to violence. The prosecution argued that the murder was premeditated and cited the girl’s journal entries as evidence of unwarranted cruelty. “It was ahmazing (sic). As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this’ feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable,” read the journals, according to a handwriting expert, “I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.”

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