- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A woman who was at the scene of her babysitter’s murder as a child is now protesting the convicted killer’s early release.

Beth Ann Bushon will read a written statement Friday at a resentencing hearing for Christopher Garza, one of the two men serving life sentences for 17-year-old Christina O’Day’s murder nearly 26 years ago, The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1o3Q2xw ) reported.

Garza, who was 16 during the 1990 murder, is eligible for a lighter sentence under a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared that life sentences without parole were unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. Under the ruling, judges can still impose life sentences, but they must consider other options.

Garza is one of 27 Nebraska residents who are being resentenced as a result of the ruling. Garza’s co-defendant, Wayne Brewer, isn’t eligible because he was 18 at the time of the killing.

Bushon was a second-grader at the time of the incident. O’Day was Bushon’s neighbor and regularly spent the night at her house when Bushon’s widowed mother worked the night shift. O’Day had briefly dated Garza, who lived in the neighborhood at some point.

Brewer said the men robbed the Bushons’ home and raped O’Day. A forensic pathologist later testified that O’Day’s death was caused by one of three things: a deep cut to her right wrist, strangulation from an electrical cord tied tightly around her neck or asphyxiation from a scarf and hat used to gag her.

Bushon and her mother moved, but Bushon said in high school, she began suffering from depression, fear and guilt after she learned more details of the murder through the Internet.

“I relive it all,” she said. “Over and over.”

Bushon will read her written statement in court on her 34th birthday.

“I couldn’t save her then,” she said. “But today all I can do is make sure he spends the rest of his life in jail.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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