Alyssa Bustamante, a Missouri teenager who strangled and stabbed her 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten, apologized to the girl's family before being sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
I really am extremely, very sorry for everything. I know words, she said, before taking a long pause, can never be enough, and they can never adequately describe how horribly I feel for all of this, she said in court. If I could give my life to get her back I would. I'm sorry, she added.
The Olten family sat in silence during the apology. Elizabeth's mother Patty Priess, had referred to Bustamante as an evil monster during the trail. On Monday, Elizabeth's grandmother screamed out from her wheelchair I think Alyssa should get out of jail the same day Elizabeth gets out of the grave, the Associated Press Reported.
Following Bustamante's apology, Cole County Circuit Judge, Pat Joyce, sentenced Bustamante to the maximum term for second degree murder. She ordered the 18-year-old to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal actions, according to the AP.
Bustamante was 15-years-old when she killed her neighbor Elizabeth Olten, in 2009. She told Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. David Rice that she always wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. She later pleaded guilty in court.
Defense attorneys in the case tried to get Bustamante a lesser sentence by arguing that she was a disturbed teenager that had come from a broken home. The teenager, who was abandoned by her mother and father as a child, has been fighting severe depression for years.
In 2007, she tried to commit suicide by overdosing on painkillers. She was later prescribed the anti-depressant Prozac, of which she took an increased dosage before the murder, according to reports. Defense attorneys brought psychiatrist Edwin Johnston into court, who testified that a higher dosage of the drug could have increased the teenager's mood swings and violent tendencies.
Prosecutors in the case barely touched on Bustamante's history of depression, instead they focused on the deliberate nature of the murder. Accounts of the murder were recorded in Bustamante's diary and prosecutors used her chilling words in court to try and push for a longer prison sentence.
'I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead,''Bustamante wrote in her journal. ''I don't know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable. I'm kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now...lol.
Following Bustamante's sentencing, neither of the families commented on the verdict. The sentencing process was extremely difficult for the family, as no sentence can adequately punish this heinous crime, Matt Diehr, a St. Louis lawyer speaking on behalf of the family, told the AP in a phone interview.
Bustamante will serve 35 years and five months in prison before she is eligible for parole, according to the Department of Corrections spokesman, Chris Cline.