Judge delays trial again for teenaged murder suspect

Cole County Circuit Court has confirmed that the trial for murder suspect Alyssa Bustamante has been delayed until early 2012.The trial has already been pushed back twice: it was first scheduled for May, then June and most recently for Sept. 13th of this year.Judge Joyce ruled that a pre-trial conference will be held in Cole County on January 9th, 2012 with jury selection beginning on Jan. 10th in Springflied. The Green County jury will then travel to Cole County for the trial.Joyce said the trial is scheduled to being immediately after jury selection is completed.Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce made the decision to delay the trial after meeting Tuesday morning with Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson and Bustamante's two public defenders in a closed-door meeting.The defense team, made up of attorneys Donald Catlett and Charles Moreland, requested the private meeting to discuss previously filed motions which demanded more information from the prosecutor's office.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports that Richardson informed the court Tuesday that his office has evidence that still requires testing. The testing will take six weeks to complete and has not yet begun, according to Richardson.In Judge Joyce's Notice of Entry filed after Tuesday's court proceeding, she mentioned that the defense team requested time to evaluate the results of the testing. In court documents filed on August 16th, the 17-year-old's defense team argued that Richardson had ignored a request for discovery and failed to turn over the names of witnesses he plans to call at trial.Bustamante was 15-years-old when she was arrested and charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of her 9-year-old neighbor.(The Associated Press contributed to this story)