Alyssa Bustamante Sentenced to Life in Prison

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Alyssa Bustamante, a Missouri teenager who confessed to strangling, cutting and stabbing a 9-year-old girl because she wanted to know how it felt to kill someone, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

She murdered Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins, Mo., in 2009.

The judge also ordered Alyssa Bustamante, now 18, to serve a consecutive 30-year term in the armed criminal action charge. Here's her booking photo:

Alyssa Bustamante Mug Shot

Alyssa Bustamante was 15 years old when she confessed to strangling Elizabeth, repeatedly stabbing her in the chest and slicing the girl's throat.

She led police to the shallow grave where she had concealed Elizabeth's body under a blanket of leaves in the woods behind their neighborhood.

With her hands shackled to her waist and her feet shackled together, Bustamante rose and faced Elizabeth's mother and siblings on Wednesday.

"I know that words," she said, pausing for air, "can never be enough and they can never adequately describe how horribly I feel for all of this."

She added: "If I could give my life to get her back I would. I'm sorry."

Elizabeth's mother, Patty Preiss, who on the first day of Bustamante's sentencing called her "an evil monster" and declared that she "hated her" sat silently, staring forward during Bustamante's apology in the courtroom.

The Olten family declined to comment, as did Bustamante's family.

Bustamante had been charged with first-degree murder and by pleading guilty to the lesser charges she avoided a trial and the possibility of spending her life in prison with no chance of release. There remains a chance of parole.

The teenager's attorneys had argued that Bustamante's use of the antidepressant Prozac had made her prone to violence. They said she had suffered from depression for years and once attempted suicide by overdosing on painkillers.

But prosecutors sought a longer sentence. They noted that Bustamante had dug two graves several days in advance, and that on the evening of the killing had sent her younger sister to lure Elizabeth outside with an invitation to play.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Rice testified that the teenager told him "she wanted to know what it felt like" to kill someone.

"I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead," Bustamante wrote in her diary, read in court by a handwriting expert.

"I don't know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable. I'm kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church"

Bustamante then headed off to a youth dance at her church.


Хоть �то и не правельно,но �читаю,что �ли�а-бедный ребёнок.И на данный момент � очень �ча�тлива,что она может до�рочно о�вободить��.
Она была не�ча�тна, и ей нужно было п�ихологиче�ки помочь,а не �ажать в тюрьму.Как можно �удить человека � такими проблемами как у неё?!


God bless the Oltens. I send prayers to them everyday. I really feel their pain:(


I hope this nonhuman thinks life in prison is amazing and enjoyable.


I have been following this story for years. What Alyssa did was wrong on so many levels. Elizabeth was an innocent young and beautiful child. There is no excuse for taking another being's life. She was sick. Only sick people kill. It has been 3 years and I'm sure things have changed. Alyssa will be very old when she has the chance to be on parole. I think if she had not murdered Elizabeth so violently things would have been different. Alyssa will hopefully learn her lesson. Unfortunately this does not stop anyone else from killing again. And Of course, nothing can replace the soul of that sweet girl. RIP Elizabeth


I really believe that this girl is a sociopath. She may say that she feels bad, but in her diary she wrote that killing the girl wasn't bad and she found this enjoyable. I looked in her eyes in the arrest picture and I didn't really see any remorse or caring in her eyes and her face didn't show any feelings at all. I hope that she spends the rest of her life in jail and while there she gets some psychiatric help.


She murdered the girl and saying sorry in court means nothing. The girl is dead and I don't give a damn if her parents were useless druggies, whatever. I hope she is not put away from the general population in jail because justice would prevail and she will be a target.


Now she can see what it feels like to rot in prison.


Sick sick sick!!! I don't care if she was born to a "druggie and a felon" - think about how many people are born to scum like that, yet overcome it and end up being overacheivers and upstanding contributing members to society!!! That is the most ridiculous post someone could put on here. At 15 she still knew right from wrong!! And she wasn't born to MURDERERS!!! Stupid! She deserves more than what she got. Think about what that beautiful little girl lost out on!!


Hope she will have fun in jail-so what who cares--maybe she can THINK what she did


You guys need to realize that this girl obviously has issues. This does NOT excuse her for what she did, not in any sense, but just think about it. When you were born, who were you born to? This girl was born to a felon and a druggie who were away for much of her childhood. No sane person would ever kill anybody just for a thrill or to know what it feels like to kill. Look at a picture of her from 2009. Long bangs covering her tiny eyes? Emotionless? Now she looks way different. Short bangs and huge, fearful eyes. She looks to me like she's a sociopath. It's a shame that there are people like her in the world. But not everybody can be born into the picture perfect American family.
My condolences go out to Elizabeth's family, by the way. This is in no way defending Alyssa. If anyone ever did this to my kid? So help me God. R.I.P. Elozabeth you were a beautiful little girl with a promising future. Now you're in heaven watching as you receive the justice that you deserve.