Court denies Bustamante's school bid

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 7:28 a.m. CDT; updated 9:48 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY— A Missouri appeals court has denied a request to let a teenager continue her education while waiting to be tried on charges of killing a 9-year-old girl.

The ruling last week by the Missouri Court of Appeals' Western District marked the third defeat on the schooling issue for 16-year-old Alyssa Bustamante.

Bustamante has pleaded not guilty to adult charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in last October's killing of Elizabeth Olten. The fourth-grader and Bustamante were neighbors in the small town of St. Martins, near Jefferson City.

Bustamante remains jailed. Her lawyers want a court to let her finish high school through a distance learning program.

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

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