Bustamante apologizes in court for killing Elizabeth Olten

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 | 9:31 a.m. CST; updated 11:02 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 8, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — An 18-year-old Missouri woman who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a young neighbor more than two years ago apologized to her victim's family.

Before a judge imposed the sentence Tuesday, 18-year-old Alyssa Bustamante faced the family of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten.

Bustamante said, "If I could give my life to bring her back I would — I'm sorry."

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce sentenced Bustamante to life in prison with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder and an additional 30 years for armed criminal action, with the sentences to run consecutively.

Defense attorneys had argued for a lesser sentence, citing Bustamante's mental health issues and troubled childhood.

Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence and cited journal entries in which Bustamante described how she killed Elizabeth.

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