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Bustamante's sentencing hearing to explore background

Elizabeth Olten’s mother, Patty Preiss, in dark wind breaker center, leaves the Cole County Courthouse with supporters after Alyssa Bustamante entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder Tuesday morning. In October 2009, 9-year-old Elizabeth was found murdered near her St. Martins home.

Elizabeth Olten’s mother, Patty Preiss, in dark wind breaker center, leaves the Cole County Courthouse with supporters after Alyssa Bustamante entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder Tuesday morning. In October 2009, 9-year-old Elizabeth was found murdered near her St. Martins home. Photo by Kelley McCall.

Alyssa Bustamante was in court barely 30 minutes Tuesday morning, when she told Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce she was guilty of second-degree murder for killing Elizabeth Olten on Oct. 21, 2009.

But her two public defenders and Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson told Joyce they would need more than one day to present evidence at Bustamante’s sentencing hearing.

So the judge scheduled the hearing for Feb. 6 and 7 — days that had been set aside for the second week of Bustamante’s murder trial, that was to begin Jan. 30, but now won’t be needed.

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Earlier coverage:

Bustamante pleads guilty to murder

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