Out-of-town jury to be used in Bustamante trial

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | 9:58 a.m. CST; updated 12:25 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 16, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — An out-of-town jury will hear the case of a mid-Missouri teen accused of killing 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten.

Attorneys for Alyssa Bustamante had asked that her first-degree murder trial be moved to another county because of the publicity surrounding Elizabeth's death last fall.

But in a brief court hearing Tuesday, Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson said he preferred to keep the case in Cole County because he expects to call several witnesses and out of respect for the victim's family. He suggested bringing in a jury from another county.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce scheduled a March 8 hearing to decide where the jury will be selected.

Bustamante has pleaded not guilty in Elizabeth's death. Authorities say Bustamante, who was 15 at the time, confessed to killing her neighbor because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.

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