Mother of Murdered Cole County Girl Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

5 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Monday, October 29 2012 Oct 29, 2012 Monday, October 29, 2012 7:13:00 PM CDT October 29, 2012 in News
By: Meghann Mollerus
loading

COLE COUNTY - Just four days before the three-year anniversary of nine-year-old Elizabeth Olten's murder in St. Martins, Olten's mother filed a wrongful death suit against the girl's then-15-year-old killer, Alyssa Bustamante.  

The suit comes eight months after Judge Patricia Joyce sentenced Bustamante to life in prison with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder--a reduced sentence resulting from Bustamante's accepting of a plea bargain that subsequently yielded a three-day sentencing hearing in February.  

The petition alleges that Bustamante's former psychiatrist, counselor and the mental health care provider--Pathways Health Care--were negligent in failing to prevent foreseeable harm to Olten.  It also lists Bustamante, herself, as a defendant liable for damages.

At the sentencing hearing, lawsuit defendant and former Pathways counselor Ron Wilson testified as a defense witness, saying he worked with Bustamante both before and after her 2007 suicide attempt.  Of Bustamante, he said, "Harm to self is her history, not harm to others," and that committing a homicide would have been "completely out of character."  He also testified Pathways diagnosed the girl with major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.  After Bustamante's arrest, he said he talked with her and "reminded her of her family's support, religious training and above all, to hang onto the fact that God loves her no matter what." 

The second Pathways employee named in the suit, psychiatrist Niger Sultana, M.D., also treated Bustamante, and witnesses at the hearing testified she was responsible for prescribing the girl her Prozac medication.

KOMU 8's calls to Pathways confirmed both Wilson and Sultana no longer are employed at the clinic.  A receptionist at the company's corporate offices disclosed Sultana left in January 2010--three months after Olten's murder.

This lawsuit comes two months after Bustamante's filing of a post-conviction appeal, which Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson said still is in its early stages of the legal procedure.  He said a judge has granted the defense more time to file an amended motion and to obtain a transcript of testimony from the sentencing hearing.  He confirmed the granting of an appeal relies on whether the court had jurisdiction, whether the defendant (now deemed a movant) had effective assistance of counsel or whether the court made a constitutional error in the case that had an impact on her guilty plea. Richardson said he could not predict a time frame in which proceedings involving the appeal would ensue, but he did confirm he has no involvement in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Bustamante's trial attorney and public defender Donald Catlett told KOMU 8 he no longer represents Bustamante.  KOMU 8's calls to her new attorney, Gary Brotherton, went unreturned.

 

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
17 minutes ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman five years ago is found guilty of murder in the... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in Top Stories
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Fashion designer Kate Spade will be buried Thursday in Kansas City, where she was born.... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The black bear population in Missouri is growing, and with the growth comes an increased chance for a... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:19:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU received a one million dollar grant as part of an inclusive initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK - All Mizzou fan's eyes are on the NBA draft, which begins Thursday night, and who will pick... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Last week, a giant dust storm on Mars took up about a quarter of the Red Planet. Now,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:26:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
5am 64°
6am 64°
7am 65°
8am 67°