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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.

Published in Local News

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.

 

Published in Local News

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.

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:27

Young man shot at bus stop in North St. Louis

A young man is in the hospital after police say he was shot while waiting at a bus stop in North St. Louis.

Officers were called to Northcrest and McLaran. Witnesses said the victim was standing at the bus stop when a suspect wearing a ski mask, walked up at shot the young man in the face. The victim was taken to a hospital in unknown condition. 

Published in Local News
Thursday, 07 November 2013 14:12

Health care worker accused of beating patient

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Florissant home health care worker is charged with third-degree abuse for allegedly using a belt to beat a group home resident who soiled a car as the pair returned from a shopping trip.

KMOV-TV reports that 23-year-old Daniel Bonner was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor offense in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

He is accused of assaulting a man with mild retardation and schizophrenia in late September while working at a group home managed by Preferred Alternatives Inc. in St. Charles.  The company says Bonner has since been fired. Online court records don't list an attorney for Bonner.

The group home resident was treated at an area hospital for cuts and bruises.

 

Published in Local News
Thursday, 07 November 2013 13:29

Debate over future of embattled state lawmaker

The future of a troubled state lawmaker is unclear. Democratic Missouri State Representative Steve Webb was charged yesterday for theft and campaign finance violations.

Prosecutors say that Webb solicited donations for an event in Washington DC, instead, he deposited that money in a personal account. Shortly after the charges, the AP reported that House Minority leader Jake Hummel said Webb told his office he planned to resign. Later Wednesday, Webb told reporters he had no plans to step down. 

Thursday, Hummel released a statement saying standing by his previous comments, that Webb told him he planned to resign. Hummel continues that for the sake of his family and constituents, Webb should resign. Webb represents portions of North St. Louis County, including Florissant.

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:04

Judge orders mistrial in shaken baby death case

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A woman charged with murder in the death of a toddler in 2011 will not go on trial this week as scheduled after her attorney was injured in an accident.

A mistrial was declared in St. Louis County on Tuesday in the second-degree murder trial of 31-year-old Jennifer M. Winkler, of Eureka. Her attorney, Neil Bruntrager, suffered a concussion during a fall. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Bruntrager was treated and released at a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Winkler is charged with second-degree murder and felony child abuse in the shaking death of 13-month-old Lily Annabella Rieger. The girl was injured while Winkler was at her home watching Lily.

 

Published in Local News

St. Louis County Police asking for help to find a burglar who has hit Lutheran North High School for a fourth time.

The most recent incident occurred October 27. The suspect stole an Apple desktop computer from the school's counseling room. The suspect is described as a black man in his 30's. He has a mustache. The suspect was last seen wearing a green jacket, with a tan collar, gray jeans or Dockers, black shoes and black skull cap.

If you have any information on the burglary or suspect, please call Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

Published in Local News
Monday, 04 November 2013 15:29

Man sentenced for 1999 murder

ST. LOUIS -- AP -- A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a murder that happened more than 14 years ago.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 38-year-old Willie McNeil was sentenced Monday after a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The crime happened May 24, 1999, when 47-year-old Mark Raiffie was beaten and shot at the family business he ran, Raiffie Vending Co. 

The case went cold until a tipster called police with information and McNeil was charged with first-degree murder in 2011. As part of the plea deal, the charge was reduced to second-degree murder.

 

Published in Local News

St. Louis County police are turning to the public for help to find a suspect in a triple shooting this weekend.

Investigators say the victims and the suspect got into a confrontation Saturday afternoon. Then at 10:30 PM Saturday night, the groups met outside the Dellwood Market. Police say the suspect started shooting, and his three people. All the victims are expected to survive.

Anyone with information is asked to call the CrimeStoppers at 866.371.TIPS.

Published in Local News

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