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UPDATE: Convicted murderer Bustamante’s parole hearing is Monday in Chillicothe

UPDATE: Convicted murderer Bustamante’s parole hearing is Monday in Chillicothe

Convicted killer Alyssa Bustamante, who is now 30, is incarcerated in northwest Missouri’s Chillicothe Correctional Center (mug shot courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections website)

Cole County’s prosecutor says his office will attend convicted killer Alyssa Bustamante’s parole hearing Monday in Chillicothe “and will vehemently argue against Ms. Bustamente being granted parole.”

Alyssa Bustamante was 15 when she stabbed nine-year-old Elizabeth Olten to death in 2009 near St. Martin’s. It was a murder that shocked mid-Missouri, dominating the news cycle in October 2009 for several days. Then-Cole County Sheriff Greg White said at the time it was the worst murder he had seen in 33 years of law enforcement.

Bustamante pleaded guilty in 2012 to second degree murder and armed criminal action and is serving a life sentence in Chillicothe. The Missouri Legislature approved changes in 2021 that made some juvenile offenders eligible for parole after serving 15 years for any sentence more than 15 years. Only juvenile offenders convicted of first degree murder are ineligible for the earlier parole eligibility. But bill sponsor State Rep. Mark Sharp (D-Kansas City) told ABC-17’s Lucas Geisler in 2021 that his bill was not made to help cases like Bustamante, adding that he would personally oppose parole at a parole hearing.

As for Prosecutor Thompson, he tells 939 the Eagle that it’s disappointing that Elizabeth Olten’s family, “who have fought so hard to pass the law that will fix Senate Bill 26, will once again have to re-live the pain and suffering caused by Alyssa Bustamante’s monstrous crime.” Prosecutor Thompson confirms his office will “vehemently argue” against parole for Bustamante at every parole hearing she has going forward.

Then “Jefferson City News-Tribune” reporter Jeff Haldiman reported that during the 2012 sentencing hearing, Bustamante turned to Olten’s family in Cole County Circuit Court and apologized. “If I could give my life to bring her back, I would,” Haldiman quoted Bustamante as saying that day in open court.”

Monday’s parole hearing will take place at the Chillicothe Correctional Center. Security is expected to be very tight. Olten’s family is expected to attend, and they’ll be in the same room with Bustamante. Parole hearings are not open to the public. Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board normally takes six to ten weeks to make any decision regarding parole, after a hearing takes place.