A young Missouri woman who confessed to killing a 9 year old neighbor girl, when she herself was a juvenile, wants a judge to set aside her guilty plea. Alyssa Bustamante was 15 year old in the 2009 when Elizabeth Olten was killed.
The Missouri teen had pleaded guilty in 2012 to second degree murder and given a life sentence with the chance for parole. A first-degree murder conviction would have meant a mandatory life sentence without parole.
The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that juveniles can't face mandatory life sentences, so Bustamante wants to change her plea. She's expected to tell a judge Thursday that she wouldn't have pleaded guilty without the threat of mandatory life imprisonment.
Three men who admit conspiring with ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon to rig property tax auctions are free as they await sentencing.
John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barratt Rochman each pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act. The three men orchestrated a multi-year "pay-for-play" scam that cheated more than 10,000 property owners out of about $2 million in excessive interest and penalty payments.
Bathon had pleaded guilty in February to rigging tax lien auctions between 2005 and 2008 to benefit his political donors.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set the sentencing hearing for Vassen, McLean and Rochman for Feb. 21.
The suspect in a fatal carjacking has pleaded guilty to killing an 85-year-old grandmother.
21-year-old DaQuan Barnes will get a 60-year-sentence for the murder instead of life in prison under an agreement with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Barnes and two accomplices, identified as 39-year-old LaTosha Cunningham and 30-year-old DeMarcus Barnes, waited for Yoko Cullen outside of a Collinsville bingo hall in May of 2011. Barnes force her into the trunk of her car, drove to east St. Louis, and set the vehicle on fire.
Investigators say Cullen was alive as the vehicle burned.
A metro-east teen could spend ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing explosive devices in his home.
Thomas Lee Stanton is 18 years old. He was a student at O'Fallon Township High School when he was arrested in April. Prosecutors say Stanton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis Tuesday to unlawfully possessing destructive devices.
Local, state and federal authorities had searched his Lebanon, Illinois home and found bomb-making equipment. Stanton admitted in court that he had "cricket" bombs made from carbon-dioxide cartridges, two Molotov cocktails and other explosive making materials, including fuses and explosive powder.
The high school had been put on lockdown during the search. Portions of the school were also searched.
Stanton faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced on Dec. 13.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former suburban St. Louis middle school teacher has pleaded guilty to federal charges for secretly videotaping boys as they undressed in a camp shower.
Sentencing is Oct. 4 for 39-year-old Matthew Hansen of Winfield. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts of attempted production of child pornography.
Hansen also faces state charges for possession of child porn.
He was arrested in Iowa after threatening to jump off a cellular tower,
Hansen was a math teacher at West Middle School in the Fort Zumwalt School District of St. Charles County. He also worked at a camp for fifth-graders.
Following his arrest last year, school officials told parents that investigators had found evidence that Hansen videotaped at least 80 boys while they undressed at a camp in Lincoln County.