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Woman Sentenced in Daughter's Death

November 05, 1998

A Los Angeles woman was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for the death of her 5-year-old daughter, whose body has never been found.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Nelson sentenced Shirley Ann James, 34, a mother of eight, to the maximum sentence allowed under her plea agreement.

Last month, James pleaded no contest to manslaughter in what authorities presume was the abuse death of her 5-year-old daughter.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Cheri Lewis said a plea was preferable to risking an acquittal on murder charges because of the lack of physical evidence.

Authorities believe Angelique James was killed between Dec. 15, 1996, and March 1, 1997. Sheriff's deputies searched for the girl's body last November in James' back yard, but never found her.

At the time authorities were looking for Angelique, the county had already taken custody of Angelique's three sisters.

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