Bustamante asks to continue education while waiting for trial

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | 11:46 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A central Missouri teenager charged with killing her 9-year-old neighbor wants to continue her education while awaiting trial.

Sixteen-year-old Alyssa Bustamante is being charged as an adult with first-degree murder in last October's killing of Elizabeth Olten, whose body was found in a wooded area just west of Jefferson City.


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Bustamante has pleaded not guilty and is in jail without bond. She had been a high school sophomore.

The defense has filed a motion asking a judge to let Bustamante continue her high school education through a distance learning program. The motion requests that the Cole County Sheriff's Office pay the costs.

Defense lawyers have asked a Cole County judge to consider their request during a hearing next week.


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Mary Schroer April 20, 2010 | 2:28 p.m.

If she wants to go to school why did she kill a child? Doesn't sound like she was to interested in school last fall. So if she wants to go to school let her and her family foot the bill. Also she may have pleaded not-guilty but she sure told police she did it and led them to the body.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Thompson April 20, 2010 | 3:29 p.m.

Bustamente is entitled to an education at public expense under the Missouri Constitution, like any other Missourian under the age of 21 years. Being accused of murder does not extinguish that right. It can be enforced against Sheriff White -- and the Jefferson City Public School District -- using the all-purpose federal Civil Rights cause of action under 42 USC Section 1983.

(Report Comment)

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