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Reporter's account: Security tight, questions to Bustamante direct

Public defenders Charlie Moreland, left, and Donald Catlett, right talk with reporters Tuesday after their client Alyssa Bustamante entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the 2009 death of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten.

Public defenders Charlie Moreland, left, and Donald Catlett, right talk with reporters Tuesday after their client Alyssa Bustamante entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the 2009 death of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. Photo by Kelley McCall.

For many Mid-Missouri reporters, covering Tuesday morning’s Alyssa Bustamante murder case hearing actually began late Monday afternoon, as we all were contacted about a possible plea agreement.

And that victim Elizabeth Olten’s family was none-too-pleased with the arrangement.

As media coordinator for the Cole County Circuit Court, my reporting work for the News Tribune sometimes shares my attention with handling the media requests for using cameras and audio recording devices in a court hearing — and those requests started flowing Monday evening, as we each were trying to verify that there really was a scheduled hearing.

So I sent an e-mail to Judge Patricia Joyce and Bailiff Donny Schulte, notifying them of the reporters’ interest in having cameras in the courtroom Tuesday morning, and followed that up with a phone call to Schulte.

While waiting, I told the other media’s callers that I didn’t know if ....

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Earlier coverage:

Bustamante pleads guilty to murder

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