Photo: For Murdering 9-Year-Old Neighbor, Alyssa Bustamante is Sentenced to Life in Prison
Wednesday, 18-year-old Alyssa Bustamante of Missouri was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for savagely killing her 9-year-old neighbor, because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.
In October 2009, Bustamante strangled, cut, and stabbed her neighbor, Elizabeth Olten, before burying her in a grave she had dug some days earlier.
In her journal the then-15-year-old wrote:
I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead,” Bustamante wrote in her journal, which was read in court by a handwriting expert. “I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this’ feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.
A doctor brought in for the defense claimed that an increased dose of the antidepressant Prozac made Bustamante more prone to violence, as it heightened her mood swings.
However, a doctor for the prosecution was brought in a doctor as well, though according to court documents, he claimed that “there is no reliable evidence in the medical and scientific literature that Prozac causes people to commit murder.”
In January, Bustamante pled guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Had she not taken the plea, she would have gone to trial and likely been convicted of first-degree murder.
Bustamante, who was only a high school sophomore when she brutally killed Elizabeth Olten was sentenced as an adult.