Bustamante admits strangling and stabbing victim.
Alyssa Bustamante, the mid-Missouri teenager in jail for two years on charges that she murdered her 9-year-old neighbor because she "wanted to know what it felt like" to kill someone, pleaded guilty yesterday.
The confession came as prosecutors reduced their first-degree murder charge to second-degree murder. Instead of serving a mandatory life term in prison, the now 17-year-old Bustamante could get out in as few as ten years.
As part of her plea, Bustamante told the court yesterday how she killed neighbor Elizabeth Olten back on October 21, 2009. Bustamante told the judge that she "strangled her" (with her hands) and then stabbed the girl in the chest with a knife and slit her throat.
Bustamante then buried the Elizabeth in a grave she dug near her rural Jefferson City neighborhood. Search crews spent two days combing the area in search of Elizabeth before Bustamante led them to the child's grave.
It's unclear exactly why prosecutors decided to drop the first-degree murder charges against Bustamante, though this summer the state was dealt a blow when a judge ruled that it could not use some testimony she made to police during trial because it was obtained through "deceptive tactics."
Bustamante reportedly practiced an "emo" lifestyle
that focused on the occult. Following her arrest, photos (like the one above) and videos of the troubled Bustamante
went viral online.