Mother of Murdered Cole County Girl Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

4 years 8 months 3 weeks ago October 29, 2012 Oct 29, 2012 Monday, October 29 2012 Monday, October 29, 2012 7:13:00 PM CDT 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
COLUMBIA - Summer road trips are going to be cheaper for Missouri drivers this year. According to AAA, the... More >>
20 minutes ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators are starting work again on a wide-ranging abortion bill. Senators are set to... More >>
1 hour ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman has reached a settlement in a lawsuit she filed against a former neighbor... More >>
4 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of a triple shooting at a St. Joseph apartment complex... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:32:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Mizzou International Composers Festival began its series of concerts Monday night with a free show at Whitmore Recital... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM CDT in News
FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a custodian for a St. Louis suburb took photos under the skirts of female... More >>
8 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6:57:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, Mayor Carrie Tergin presented her approved budget to the city council. Tergin calls the... More >>
18 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 9:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College has seen drastic growth in enrollment and will spend $20 million to expand its campus. Columbia... More >>
21 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Medical Center announced the hospital will be closing no later than September 22 and the announcement comes... More >>
22 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
ARNOLD (AP) — Investigators said a motorist who died after a shootout with police along a busy Missouri interstate had... More >>
23 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More than 28,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms... More >>
23 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Democrats voiced concerns over a veto by Governor Greitens after a public hearing Monday morning. The... More >>
23 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two parents are dead and one child in stable condition after a carbon monoxide poisoning incident that... More >>
23 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri is partnering with a Columbia-based company to fight a familiar condition in cancer patients.... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
Golf, softball, walking the dog… being in the sun means that we need to be diligent about protecting our skin.... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Police Department is looking at whether more training is necessary after an off-duty... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:33:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Some Democratic Missouri lawmakers are reviving efforts to prevent cuts to in-home and nursing care for... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:18:31 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police detectives arrested a man Sunday night after detectives connected him to a weekend shooting that left one... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 1:40:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
4pm 92°
5pm 92°
6pm 91°
7pm 90°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
World of Dance
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld