Evidence Is Overwhelming in Bustamante Case

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JEFFERSON CITY - One day after Ryan Ferguson was released, Jefferson City killer Alyssa Bustamante wants out of prison. But unlike Ferguson, a Cole County Sheriff's Department officer said the case has an "overwhelming" amount of evidence.

Bustamante pleaded guilty to the killing of her 9-year-old neighbor in October 2009. Bustamante stabbed, strangled, and slit Elizabeth Olten's throat and placed her in a grave.

She was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole plus a 30-year-term for armed criminal action.

The Cole County Sheriff's Department originally received the tip that suspected Bustamante of killing Olten. "There was overwhelming evidence that she committed this crime," said Captain John Wheeler, Cole County Sheriff's Department. 

Bustamante's attorney said her due process rights were violated, she faced cruel and unusual punishment, and her public defenders were not effective.

"She admitted in open court that she committed the crime," Wheeler said. "This wasn't a jury found her guilty. This was not Judge Joyce found her guilty. She stood up in court and stated that she committed this crime."

Bustamante was 15 at the time of the killing, which occurred four years ago. A diary containing messages about the killing was found after the murder.