Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce has twice denied a request for accused child murderer Alyssa Bustamante to receive a high school education while incarcerated.

So, her attorneys have gone on to the next rung of the legal ladder, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District.

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson explains it thusly: Bustamante’s attorneys cannot file an appeal while the case is pending trial, but they can file a writ asking for the higher court to look into the matter.

The Missouri Public Defender’s Capital Litigation division has filed an Application for a Writ of Mandamus or Prohibition and Suggestions in Support of the Application, With Attached Exhibits.

Judge Joyce has until Sept. 13 to respond to the three requests made by the writ, asking for more information on the policies regarding whether to grant or deny an education for a juvenile being charged, and thereby held, as an adult.

Bustamante is accused of stabbing her neighbor, 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten, to death in rural Cole County, just outside of Jefferson City. Trial is set for May 16 in Cole County; jurors will be brought in from Southwest Missouri’s Greene County.