Hearing in Olten case open to public

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | 5:51 p.m. CDT; updated 1:44 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 29, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — A hearing on whether to try a Missouri teenager accused of killing a 9-year-old girl as an adult will be open to the public.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem made the decision Wednesday. A lawyer for the 15-year-old suspect argued that the Nov. 18 hearing should be closed.

The suspect is charged with first-degree murder in last week's killing of Elizabeth Olten. Authorities have described the teen only as an acquaintance of the girl, who disappeared Oct. 21 during a short walk home from a friend's house in St. Martins, just outside Jefferson City.

Elizabeth's funeral was held Wednesday at a Jefferson City church. The casket was later taken to a cemetery by horse-drawn carriage.

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