Mo. teen killer had troubled family, depression

DAVID A. LIEB
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2009 file photo, Alyssa Bustamante, 15, listens during a brief hearing where her attorney entered not guilty pleas on her behalf to charges of armed criminal action and first-degree murder in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City, Mo. Bustamante, who admitted stabbing, strangling and slitting the throat of a young neighbor girl, wrote in her journal on the night of the killing that it was an "ahmazing" and "pretty enjoyable" experience — then headed off to church with a laugh. The words written by Bustamante were read aloud in court Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, as part of a sentencing hearing to determine whether she should get life in prison or something less for the October 2009 murder of her neighbor, 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten, in a small town west of Jefferson City. (AP Photo/Kelley McCall, Pool, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A psychiatrist testifying for prosecutors says there is no way that an antidepressant drug could have made a Missouri teenager kill a 9-year-old neighbor girl.

Dr. Anthony Rothschild testified Tuesday in the sentencing hearing for Alyssa Bustamante, who has pleaded guilty to strangling, stabbing and slicing the throat of Elizabeth Olten of St. Martin's in October 2009.

Defense attorneys who are arguing for a sentence less than the maximum of life in prison have sought to show that the antidepressant Prozac could have contributed to Bustamante's mood swings and violent tendencies.

But Rothschild says there is no scientific or medical evidence that Prozac causes people to commit murder. To the contrary, he says it actually can decrease hostility and aggression.