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Bustamante trial delayed again

The trial for a teenager accused of killing a 9 year-old neighbor in October 2009 has been delayed again, and won’t be held until next year.

During a motion hearing before Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Pat Joyce Tuesday morning, Prosecutor Mark Richardson said his office had evidence in the case against Alyssa Bustamante, 17, that still needed to be tested.

Richardson said it would take six weeks for the testing to be completed and because that testing had not started yet, there was no way his office would be ready for the scheduled Sept. 13 start of the trial.

Bustamanate’s lawyers, Donald Catlett and Charles Moreland of the state Public Defender system’s capital division, acknowledged they also would have to look over this evidence and, therefore, would need time to accomplish that.

Judge Joyce said that, in checking with Greene County, where the jury will be selected and then brought to Cole County to hear the case, it appeared that a Jan. 10-11 jury selection could take place and, immediately afterwards, the jurors would be brought to Cole County for the trial.

Bustamante is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Oct. 21, 2009, death of Elizabeth Olten.

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