Bustamante hearing postponed

Editor's note: This update adds the rescheduled hearing date.

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce on Thursday approved a continuance for the Alyssa Bustamante post-conviction appeals hearing, at the request of Ms. Bustamante’s attorney.

The hearing has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 30, 2014 — two years after Bustamante, now 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges for the Oct. 21, 2009, murder of neighbor Elizabeth Olten.

After a three-day hearing in February 2012, Joyce sentenced Bustamante to life sentence in prison, with a possibility of parole, for the murder, plus 30 years for the armed criminal action charge.

Saying her lawyers from the state Public Defender system provided inadequate council, violating her constitutional rights, Bustamante’s new attorney — Gary E. Brotherton of Columbia — wants the court to set-aside her guilty plea and the sentences.

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