Woman pleads to killing 5-year-old child in Missouri in horrific fashion


Angela West (Waynesville Police Dept.)

Angela West (Waynesville Police Dept.)

A 41-year-old Missouri woman will spend the rest of her life behind bars after she admitted to her role in the death of a 5-year-old girl hogtied and gagged with a sock to prevent her from stealing food.

Pulaski County Judge John Beger on Thursday ordered Angela West to serve a life sentence in a state correctional facility, authorities said. West had pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in death.

West’s co-defendant in the case, Shamira Buford, is scheduled to go to trial on June 10, 2024, on charges of endangering the welfare of a child, abuse or neglect of a child, second-degree murder, and involuntary manslaughter, records show.

“This is one, if not the most tragic case, I have seen in my thirteen years as Prosecuting Attorney,” said Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman in a statement. “These were heinous acts perpetrated on a young and innocent victim over a long period of time and I commend Judge Beger for sentencing the defendant to life imprisonment for her role in this abuse and death of this child.”

The Prosecutor’s Office commended the work of law enforcement.

“A case like this, involving the death of a child, is hard on everyone involved and a conviction and sentence like this is due to their professionalism and hard work,” the statement added.

As reported by Law&Crime, on the morning of March 7, a young student contacted a Waynesville School resource officer and reported that before arriving at school, he saw that his younger sister was unconscious and unresponsive on the floor in their home. The resource officer immediately contacted the police, who responded to the 700 block of Washington Street residence, about 140 miles southwest of St. Louis.

First responders said a child answered the door and stated her younger sibling was dead inside.

Authorities found the victim unconscious and unresponsive, and she was declared dead at the scene.

The two women in the home — later identified as West and Buford — were booked into the Pulaski County Jail. County Circuit Judge Colin Long ordered them held without bond pending additional proceedings.

An affidavit obtained by Springfield CBS affiliate KOLR said West and Buford were asleep when police arrived at their home around 8:50 a.m. The child who answered the door told the officers that their younger sibling had been choked. Buford then found the child’s body covered by a blanket in the living room.

Police said the girl appeared to have significant ligature marks around her wrists, ankles, and neck. Next to the body was a gray sock saturated in an unknown substance, and appeared to have blood on it, Columbia ABC affiliate KMIZ reported.

The child who made the initial report allegedly told police that the suspects had been tying up his little sister at night for several weeks because she steals food, KOLR reported. Another child reportedly said West and Buford would make the 5-year-old’s siblings help tie her to a futon.

According to KOLR, Buford admitted to police she and West would tie up the 5-year-old because she “continued to steal food.” They allegedly began by using duct tape and eventually moved on to “hogtying” the child using nylon rope. Buford also allegedly admitted that they used the sock to gag the child because her “whining and crying” kept the other children up at night, reports say.

“We got tired of telling her to be quiet,” Buford told police about the sock-gag, KMIZ reported.

“I thought she was OK because she could breathe through her nose,” West reportedly said about the sock.


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