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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   A young Missouri woman who confessed to killing a 9 year old neighbor girl, when she herself was a juvenile, wants a judge to set aside her guilty plea.  Alyssa Bustamante was 15 year old in the 2009 when Elizabeth Olten was killed.  

   The Missouri teen had pleaded guilty in 2012 to second degree murder and given a life sentence with the chance for parole.  A first-degree murder conviction would have meant a mandatory life sentence without parole.

   The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that juveniles can't face mandatory life sentences, so Bustamante wants to change her plea.  She's expected to tell a judge Thursday that she wouldn't have pleaded guilty without the threat of mandatory life imprisonment.  

   The University of Missouri will hire outside, independent legal counsel to investigate the school's handling of matters related to former Mizzou student Sasha Menu Courey.  The swimmer committed suicide in 2011, 16 months after claiming she'd been raped by members of the Missouri football team.  

   The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Wednesday night to approve the recommendation of University President Tim Wolfe, to hire an independent investigator.  The board has not yet chosen a firm, but stipulated that it must have independence from the university.  

   The board wants the inquiry completed in time for the board's next meeting in Rolla on April 11th.

Police officers assigned to Dooley being investigated

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 04:25 Published in Local News

   Two police officers assigned to security detail for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley can no longer access the criminal justice database.  

   Police Chief Tim Fitch tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that an internal affairs investigation is under way to determine whether the officers' violated any laws when they ran the names of police board candidates, including Dave Spence.  Fitch says it was an announcement in October by Dooley chief of staff, Garry Earls, that prompted the investigation.  Earls had told the County Council that Spence's criminal background check had come back clean.  

   A spokeswoman for Dooley told the paper the county executive was unaware of the investigation and had not himself requested any such checks by the officers.

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