St. Louis Public Radio News
10:10 am
Tue September 28, 2010

State appeals court rejects education request for teenager charged with murder

Jefferson City, MO – A Missouri appeals court has once again denied a teenager's request to continue her education while waiting to be tried as an adult on murder charges.

The ruling issued last week marked the third time a court has refused to allow 16-year-old Alyssa Bustamente to finish high school through a distance-learning program. The ruling was issued without explanation.

Bustamente was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death last October of nine-year-old Elizabeth Olten. The fourth-grader and Bustamente were neighbors in a small town outside Jefferson City. She has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Bustamente admitted to the crime and led investigators to Elizabeth's body. The teenager allegedly told investigators that she committed the crime to see what it felt like to kill someone.