Appeals court to hear defendant's education request in Olten murder trial

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | 11:36 a.m. CDT; updated 12:48 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — A state appeals court will consider whether a central Missouri teenager should be allowed to continue her education while awaiting trial on a charge of murdering her 9-year-old neighbor.

The Western District appeals court agreed Wednesday to accept written arguments on the request from attorneys for 16-year-old Alyssa Bustamante.

A Cole County judge has twice denied requests to let Bustamante enroll in a distance learning program from jail to complete her high school degree.

Bustamante is being tried as an adult. She has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for the October slaying of Elizabeth Olten.

Authorities say Bustamante confessed in a police interview and led them to Olten's body in a wooded area west of Jefferson City.

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