ROLLA, Mo. – A Missouri woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting to her involvement in the death of a 5-year-old girl who was hogtied and gagged to prevent her from stealing food.
Angela West, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death. Pulaski County Judge John Beger ordered West to serve a life sentence in a state correctional facility.
West’s co-defendant, Shamira Buford, will face trial on June 10, 2024, on charges including endangering the welfare of a child, abuse or neglect of a child, second-degree murder, and involuntary manslaughter.
According to the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney, this case is one of the most tragic he has seen in his thirteen-year career. The abuse inflicted upon the young victim over a prolonged period of time was described as heinous. Judge Beger’s decision to sentence West to life imprisonment was commended for holding her accountable for her role in the abuse and death of the child.
The disturbing incident came to light when a young student contacted a Waynesville School resource officer to report that his younger sister was unconscious and unresponsive at home. Police responded to the residence and found the victim dead. She had been found by her sibling, who answered the door and reported her as deceased.
The investigation revealed that the child had significant ligature marks around her wrists, ankles, and neck. A sock saturated in an unknown substance, with what appeared to be blood on it, was discovered next to the body. According to Pulaski County Prosecutors Office the cause of death was suffocation.
According to a report obtained by local news stations, West and Buford had been tying up the 5-year-old for several weeks because she would steal food. They started with duct tape and eventually resorted to hogtying her with nylon rope. The child’s siblings were allegedly forced to participate in tying her to a futon.
Buford admitted to police that they used the sock to gag the child because her “whining and crying” disturbed the other children during the night. Both individuals showed a callous disregard for the victim’s well-being.
The trial of Shamira Buford will provide further insight into the events leading up to the tragic death of the 5-year-old girl.