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Mo. teenage murder suspect seeks to bar statements

Mo. teenage murder suspect seeks to bar statements

March 18th, 2011 in News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Defense attorneys want a Missouri judge to block incriminating statements a teenage murder suspect made to police from being used against her in an upcoming trial.

A motion seeking to suppress statements made by Alyssa Bustamante was released Friday by Cole County Circuit Court, two days after the motion was the subject of a closed-door hearing. The judge has not ruled yet on the motion.

Bustamante was 15 years old when she was charged as an adult in fall 2009 with slaying 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten, a neighbor from a rural town just west of Jefferson City. She has pleaded not guilty and is to face trial in June.

During a hearing in November 2009, a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer testified that Bustamante confessed to killing the girl and led authorities to her body in a well-concealed wooded area. Sgt. David Rice testified that Bustamante told authorities she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.

Bustamante's attorneys contend the interrogation was coercive for someone of her age, background and physical and mental condition. Their motion to suppress the statements contends she was "subjected to mental and physical duress" and was made promises by the officials conducting the questioning, but it does not elaborate on either assertion.

The motion also contends Bustamante was not advised in clear terms of her right to remain silent, that her words could be used against her or that a lawyer could be present during the interrogation.