Missouri teen thrill killer gets life in prison

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 08, 2012 1:58 PM
Missouri teen thrill killer gets life in prison

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - A Missouri teenager who described her experience of killing a 9-year-old girl as "pretty enjoyable" received a life sentence Wednesday, with a chance of parole.

Alyssa Bustamante, 18, pleaded guilty in Cole County Circuit Court last month to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 strangling and stabbing of Elizabeth Olten.

Bustamante, 15 at the time, lured Elizabeth into the woods to play near the girls' neighborhood in St. Martins, Missouri, records show. After killing the girl, she buried her under some leaves and later led police to the grave.

In court Wednesday, Bustamante apologized for the killing, according to Bob Watson, a Jefferson City News-Tribune reporter who served as a pool reporter at this week's sentencing hearing.

"If I could give my life to bring her back, I would," she said as members of Elizabeth's family sobbed.

Bustamante's lawyers said in court that she suffered depression, once attempted suicide, and was on the drug Prozac. They asked that those factors be considered in their request for a sentence of less than life in prison.

Bustamante kept a diary during the time of the killing that was partly read in court this week by a handwriting expert. In words she had tried to blot out, Bustamante wrote that she slit the girl's throat and stabbed her until she was dead.

"It was ahmazing," she wrote. "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."

She then wrote that she was headed to church.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Paul Thomasch)