JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri teen who pleaded guilty to killing her 9-year-old neighbor wants the pleas to be vacated, corrected or set aside.
Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the October 2009 killing of Elizabeth Olten in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City. Bustamante was 15 at the time.
Bustamante's attorney contends the teen's due process rights were violated and that she faced cruel and unusual punishment. The lawyer also asserts Bustamante's public defenders were not effective. A hearing was scheduled Friday in Jefferson City.
Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and ordered to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action. Initially, she was charged with first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Police say they will look into any new leads in the 2001 slaying of a newspaper sports editor after one of the men originally convicted had his case overturned and was freed.
The Columbia Police Department issued a written statement Wednesday saying it respects an appeals court decision that reversed the murder and robbery convictions of Ryan Ferguson in the killing of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.
The police department says it will follow up on any new information that is brought to its attention.
Ferguson was freed Tuesday evening after the Missouri attorney general decided not to re-try him.
Chuck Erickson remains in prison after pleading guilty to Heitholt's murder. Erickson originally testified against Ferguson but later recanted. Ferguson says neither one of them killed Heitholt.
JACKSON, Mo. (AP) - A judge has set a September trial date for George Joseph, a Cape Girardeau businessman accused of killing his wife and 18-year-old son.
The Southeast Missourian reports that Cape Girardeau County Judge Benjamin Lewis on Tuesday scheduled the first-degree murder trial for the week of Sept. 15, with jury selection to begin Sept. 11.
The jury will be picked in Cole County in mid-Missouri and brought to Cape Girardeau County for the trial. Joseph's attorney, Bryan Greaser, had requested a change of venue.
Mary Joseph and the couple's son, Matthew, were shot to death on May 30 at the family's home. Joseph, who is 48, was treated for a gunshot wound to the head. He recovered.