Two headed to prison for crimes against babies

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 18, 2000

Two Warren County women convicted of crimes against their babies were sent to prison after proceedings in Warren County Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Crystal Buffington, convicted in a jury trial last week, was ordered by Warren County Circuit Court Judge Frank Vollor to serve 13 years in prison and be on probation for five years afterward.

In the other case, Vollor revoked the probation of a woman convicted two years ago of killing her newborn son by leaving him in 35-degree temperatures in her family’s back yard. She was 15 at the time.

Addressing Buffington Thursday, Vollor told the 19-year-old, “I hope you re-examine yourself and get yourself straight because you are the only one who can do it.”

On Dec. 6, after a two-day trial, a jury found Buffington guilty of beating her 2-year-old daughter, Britney Friley, with a dog collar and starving her. Jurors wept openly during testimony about the child’s wounds.

“I tried my best to do my best,” Buffington told Vollor before her sentencing.

Britney, along with her 1-year-old sister, now lives with an aunt.

The child’s father, Jerry Friley, 28, who testified against Buffington, had pleaded guilty April 20 to child abuse. He is serving five years.

Buffington and Friley were arrested at their Berryman Road home Nov. 2, 1999, after a friend of Buffington’s noticed bruises on the child.

In the second case, Angela Myers, now 20, must now serve three years.

She originally received a suspended sentence in the death of her baby, Joseph Lee Myers, who was born at home and buried in the yard of the family home at 2434 Washington St. Joseph died days after being found by his grandfather.

Myers pleaded guilty in 1998 to manslaughter charges and Vollor imposed a suspended sentence. Her probation was revoked following her arrest Nov. 8 after failing to report to her probation officer, testing positive for marijuana use and failing to complete the 100 hours of community service to which Vollor had sentenced her in 1998.

Myers pleaded with Vollor to give her another chance for the sake of a second child born to her Oct. 11. Myers said her future mother-in-law now has custody of her child. “I have stayed out of trouble,” she said.

Before issuing his decision, Vollor told Myers her behavior had left him with no alternative.

“This court has bent over backward to to help you, but you haven’t taken advantage of chances,” Vollor said.

Both women will be turned over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.