Woman Sentenced to Life for Horrific Role in the Death of a 5-Year-Old Girl

A woman from Missouri has been handed a life sentence following her confession to participating in the fatal abuse of a five-year-old girl. The child was reportedly bound and gagged to stop her from taking food. Angela West, 41, entered a guilty plea to a single count of child endangerment leading to death. Pulaski County Judge John Beger directed that West serve her life sentence in a state prison.

West’s co-accused, Shamira Buford, is set to stand trial on June 10, 2024. Buford faces multiple charges, including child endangerment, child abuse or neglect, second-degree murder, and involuntary manslaughter.

The Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney described the case as one of the most heart-wrenching he has encountered in his 13-year career. The prolonged and severe abuse suffered by the young victim was characterized as horrific. Judge Beger’s decision to impose a life sentence on West was praised for holding her responsible for her part in the child’s abuse and subsequent death.

The case came to public attention when a young student informed a Waynesville School resource officer that his younger sister was unresponsive at their home. Upon arrival, police discovered the girl dead. The victim’s sibling, who had found her, answered the door and reported her death.

Investigations revealed that the child had significant ligature marks on her wrists, ankles, and neck. A sock, soaked in an unidentified substance and seemingly stained with blood, was found near the body. The Pulaski County Prosecutors Office determined that the cause of death was suffocation.

According to a report obtained by local media, West and Buford had been binding the five-year-old for several weeks because she was taking food. They initially used duct tape before resorting to nylon rope to hogtie her. It is alleged that the child’s siblings were coerced into helping tie her to a futon.

Buford confessed to police that they used the sock to silence the child because her “whining and crying” was disturbing the other children at night. Both West and Buford demonstrated a chilling indifference to the child’s welfare. Buford’s upcoming trial is expected to shed more light on the events leading up to the tragic death of the five-year-old girl.