Bustamante takes stand to appeal guilty plea
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:20:37 GMT —
A Missouri woman took the stand in her own defense Thursday as she and her lawyers ask a judge to overturn her guilty plea for murder.
Alyssa Bustamante testified in court Thursday she wouldn't have pleaded guilty to the 2009 slaying of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten if she'd known about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving juvenile murder defendants.
Bustamante had been facing a first-degree murder charge punishable by life without parole. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January 2012 and was sentenced to life with the chance of parole.
The Supreme Court later ruled that mandatory life prison sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional.
Bustamante's new attorney is citing that case as a reason to undo the plea agreement.
The court did not make a decision at the hearing and took the argument under advisement. There is no timetable for a ruling.