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Judge denies teenage killer’s request to set aside her guilty plea

ABC 17 News confirmed on Monday a judge has denied a request from a Mid-Missouri teen killer to set aside her guilty plea from 2012. The ruling for Alyssa Bustamante was signed by Cole County Judge Joyce on Thursday.

Bustamante testified in court back in January that she wouldn’t have pleaded guilty to the 2009 slaying of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten if she’d known about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving juvenile murder defendants. Bustamante later wrote in her journal wrote that killing her young neighbor was an “ahmazing” thrill.

Bustamante was facing a first-degree murder charge punishable by life without parole. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January 2012 and was sentenced to life with the chance of parole.

The Supreme Court later ruled that mandatory life prison sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional. Bustamante’s new attorney cited that case as a reason to undo the plea agreement.

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