BOLLINGER COUNTY, Mo. (TCD) -- A man was recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for fatally beating a disabled victim in 2021.
On Friday, April 2, 2021, Bollinger County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Bollinger County Road 345 to a report of an unresponsive male, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. At the scene, authorities reportedly found 32-year-old Joshua Taylor "lying face up and partially submerged in a pond on the property."
Taylor, who had developmental disabilities, was found with multiple facial injuries, including bruising, abrasions, and lacerations, the Sheriff’s Office said. He reportedly had marks consistent with being restrained prior to his death.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, authorities contacted the individuals who lived on the property, Joshua Proffer and Heather Watson. Upon further investigation, Watson and Proffer were taken into custody.
During an interview with a witness, the Sheriff’s Office learned that the victim was "restrained to a chair inside of Joshua Proffer and Heather Watson’s residence."
Watson reportedly began to assault the victim, and Taylor was hit with a bar of soap that had been put in a sock. The victim was also allegedly hit with closed fists.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, "A towel had been placed over Mr. Taylor’s head as water was continuously poured onto the towel covering his face."
During the attack, Proffer was reportedly present and ordered Watson what to do. Once the victim was dead, the victim’s body was dragged to the pond where he was later found.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, Proffer was convicted of second-degree murder, and several weeks later, on Dec. 5, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The other defendant, Watson, is scheduled to appear in court later this month, KFVS-TV reports.