Thursday, December 22, 2011
Editor's note: An updated and expanded version of this story is posted here.
Alyssa Bustamante’s murder trial will be held in the new Federal Courthouse, Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce announced Thursday afternoon.
After several previous delays, the trial now is set to begin with opening arguments at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 30 — three weeks later than previously scheduled.
Jurors will be chosen in Greene County.
Bustamante was 15 1/2 when she was accused of murdering Elizabeth Olten, 9, a neighbor.
She will turn 18 shortly before the trial begins.
Olten was killed Oct. 21, 2009, and her body was found on Oct. 23, concealed in some woods west of Route D and south of the U.S. 50/Route D interchange in St. Martin’s.
The two girl’s families lived at opposite ends of that small neighborhood.
Hundreds of Mid-Missourians had helped in a constant search for Olten until her body was found.
Bustamante was certified to stand trial as an adult on Nov. 18, 2009 — and indicted by the Cole County grand jury hours later.
Joyce’s order says 34 seats will be available to the general public to attend the trial, and will be distributed by a lottery.
Joyce’s complete, four-page order is being posted on the circuit court’s website, http://www.colecountycourts.org/courtnews.htm.