Attorneys for a Missouri teenager who admitted killing a young neighbor girl are contending that a troubled childhood and an antidepressant drug may have contributed to the murder.
During a sentencing hearing Monday, attorneys for Alyssa Bustamante called her imprisoned father and her grandmother. They testified about how her family has a long history of drug abuse, mental problems and suicide attempts.
The court also heard from a psychiatrist who testified that an increased dosage of the antidepressant Prozac could have made Bustamante more prone toward violence in the weeks leading up to the October 2009 killing.
Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month in the death of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten. Bustamante is 18 but was 15 at the time of the crime.
The defense will continue making its case Tuesday.