Bernskoetter again defends bill to limit parole for juvenile offenders in Missouri

The state senator has offered versions of Senate Bill 746 for three consecutive years

Julie Smith/News Tribune photo: 
After placing a framed photograph of her daughter, Elizabeth Olten, on the table, Patty Preiss reads from a prepared statement Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in support of Mike Bernskoetter's Senate Bill 746 regarding parole eligibility. Olten was murdered at age 9 in 2009 by a 15-year old neighbor. Preiss became very emotional as she spoke, so her longtime friend and supporter, Gary Bemboom, places a hand on her shoulder to comfort her as she details what happened to her daughter. Bemboom followed her with his own words, displaying grief as he spoke.
Julie Smith/News Tribune photo: After placing a framed photograph of her daughter, Elizabeth Olten, on the table, Patty Preiss reads from a prepared statement Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in support of Mike Bernskoetter's Senate Bill 746 regarding parole eligibility. Olten was murdered at age 9 in 2009 by a 15-year old neighbor. Preiss became very emotional as she spoke, so her longtime friend and supporter, Gary Bemboom, places a hand on her shoulder to comfort her as she details what happened to her daughter. Bemboom followed her with his own words, displaying grief as he spoke.

Fifteen years after her death, Elizabeth Olten's family is still seeking what it says is full justice for her murder.

The 9-year-old's death also remains on the mind of state Sen.

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