An Augusta man will spend the next two decades in prison without the possibility for parole after pleading guilty in Superior Court on Monday to setting his daughter on fire.
With his daughter, Bianca West, 20, present in the courtroom, Jammie Maurice West, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. Judge Carl C. Brown sentenced him under the recidivist statute, meaning West will not be eligible for parole and the parole on his old charges is revoked, said Richmond County District Attorney Ashley Wright.
West was arguing with the victim's mother on May 9 in the front yard of her Blum Street home when his daughter and her boyfriend stepped in to try to quell the fight. West poured a flammable liquid from a beer bottle onto his daughter and ignited it with a lighter. The girl's mother snuffed out the fire with her robe.
For a time, Bianca West was in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center. She suffered second- and third-degree burns to her face, arms and chest. Today, she has some scarring and suffers pain, Wright said. She continues to be monitored by doctors.
"She is in amazingly good condition," Wright wrote in an e-mail. "If you saw the pictures from the hospital, you would wonder if she would ever heal. She also has an amazing attitude and spirit, both of which have helped her survive this ordeal."
West had been paroled in August 2009 after serving 16 years of a 55-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and possession of cocaine and was living with his daughter and her mother.
In February 1993, West was charged with one count of malice murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
An indictment charged West with the November 1990 shooting of Anthony Jackson, who was shot in the chest after complaining about a crack cocaine purchase, according to police records.
Another indictment charged West with the December 1992 shooting of Benjamin D. Williams. Williams was parked on Holloway Drive when he was shot in the head through the rear window, according to police records.
West was also indicted twice in 1992 on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, according to court records.