JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri judge has blocked prosecutors from using part of a teenager's statement to police in her trial for the slaying of a 9-year-old neighbor.
In a decision released Wednesday, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce said a juvenile officer wrongly participated in a Missouri State Highway Patrol interview of Alyssa Bustamante. The judge said the officer "used deceptive tactics" while encouraging the teenager to tell the truth about the death of Elizabeth Olten in October 2009.
The patrol officer testified that Bustamante confessed to the slaying and led authorities to Elizabeth's body in the woods west of Jefferson City.
Bustamante, who was 15 at the time of Elizabeth's death, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled for September.