The Williams Trial – Day 26: Closing Arguments Start

Today, Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013 the Prosecutor and Defense for Larry Williams gave their closing arguments.  As always, anything to do with this trial has a serious *trigger warning* and the closing arguments are no exception.  In fact, I can’t stress enough how disturbing this whole thing is.  I am having a hard time figuring out how to summarize without triggers.  All I can say is that the jury was told how the charges work and given instructions on their options of what they can determine. By factoring in different degrees of the charges, they have over a dozen options.  The closing arguments are a summary of what was shown and what each attorney wants the jury to decide.  One of the Prosecutor’s remarks was that they wanted to kill Hana’s spirit and her pride.  Very, very true.

Here is an article about the Prosecutor’s closing arguments in the Skagit Valley Herald.

And here is a more in depth article in the Skagit Valley Herald which covers the whole day.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is Maurine’s report on the instructions to the jury and closing remarks by the Prosecutor.  Here is a quote from it:

Mr. Weyrich discussed the various experts who have commented on Hana’s age, noting that most put her at 15 years old, via teeth and bone analysis. (The jury needs to believe she was under 16 for the more serious charge of homicide by abuse to stand.)

And here is Maurine’s report on the closing arguments from the defense team of Larry Williams.  I will summarize it with this one quote:

Larry just didn’t know all that was going on, Ms. Forde said several times. “The evidence is overwhelming,” she said, that “Carri Williams designed, planned, and implemented” all that happened in their home.

And here is a quote which I find very interesting:

Why did this happen? Because Larry and Carri were unprepared, said Ms. Forde. They were both naive. They thought Hana and Immanuel would respond to the same disciplinary tactics that their other children had, and they didn’t foresee the mental health problems of older, internationally adopted children.

This ties in with what I suspected from the moment I found out that they were following Pearl’s teachings.  My only quibble is that the adopted children did not have mental health problems.  Quite the contrary.  It was the biological children who were raised to accept the abuse and had been mentally broken down with Stockholm Syndrome.  The adopted children were sane enough to recognize abuse and resist it.

Williams Trial – Day 25: Testimony of Carri Williams (3rd Day)

Friday, August 30, 2013 was disturbing for me.  *Those easily triggered should stop reading now*.  Carri’s testimony was about Hana’s last night alive.

Carri Williams actually said that she  believes that Hana unintentionally killed herself.  I know that I am not the only one who is disturbed by this.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald.  It boggles my mind that Carri says that she couldn’t stand to watch Hana stumbling around, throwing herself to the ground so she turned away.  Apparently it never crossed her mind to go outside and bring her in by force.  Nor did it ever cross her mind to call paramedics, as she claims that she had done things like this before.  Bear in mind that none of the family had seen a doctor since 2009 and Hana died in 2011.

Here is the  story on King5 which contains some of Carri’s testimony.  Carri actually accused the prosecuting attorney of ripping her family  apart. She clearly does not accept any responsibility, let alone guilt, in the matter at all.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is Maureen’s detailed report.

Here is the 2nd part of Maureen’s report.

Carri was the last witness, Defense rests.  Court will rest for the long weekend and closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

As always, if I find more stories from this day, they will be added to this post.

Edited to add:  There is quite a bit of  video footage of Carri’s testimony mixed into this tribute video.

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 24: Testimony of Carri Williams (2nd Day)

Thursday August 30, 2013 saw yet another expert witness testifying that Hana had to be at around 15.  This time it was a radiologist who analyzed xrays of Hana’s bones, according to this article from King 5.

Then Carri Williams returned to the stand to be cross examined.  She testified that Larry never ordered her to stop spanking the children and that if he had, she would have stopped because she believes in “Biblical gender roles,” according to this article in the Skagit Valley Herald.

According to this article from KiroTV, she admitted to reading the controversial book, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl but said, “That doesn’t mean I followed that book as the Bible. I got a couple ideas from it, is all.”   Upon reading that,  an acquaintance Carri Wiliams made the following statement in the Facebook Group, Remembrance of Hanna Williams:

LIES LIES LIES!!! She said she only used a few suggestions from the book. All lies!!! She had EVERY stinking Pearl book they had from No Greater Joy ministries. She followed it to a T!! She always bragged about it. She talked us all into reading this book. She is lying through her teeth!!!! I Guess what can I excpect? Just irritates me so bad that she is so big on telling the truth when she is so full of lies herself!! This made me shake in my boots and wanna scream to the rooftop that she is soooo lying!

Also in this story is discussion of the application they filled out when they applied to adopt Hana and Immanuel.  The Prosecuting Atty said that they did not put in the application that they spank, although Carri said that they did.  It was not found on the application.

Maureen has a very detailed report again for which I am very thankful.  It goes without saying that this is not for the faint of heart as pretty much nothing in this trial is.

They did not finish the cross examination before the day ended.

Williams Trial – Day 23: Testimony of Carri Williams (1st Day)

On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, finished his testimony in which he  said that  his wife came up with many of the ideas for the children’s punishments and he did not remember about the rest.  He also testified that they did not spank Immanuel until they thought that he could understand the rules.  Then Larry stepped down and his defense rested. Then Carri’s defense commenced, starting with her sister, mother and father taking the stand. Finally Carri took the stand where she testified that parenting decisions were shared.   The morning was covered by this article in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Maureen also covers the morning session in a lot more detail.

Carri was back on the stand in the afternoon.  She testified about the night Hana died among other things.  I don’t think I need to remind you that none of these stories are for the easily triggered.

Here is the story on King5 TV

Here is the story on Kiro TV

Here is the story on Komo News.

And if you have not used up all your views of the Skagit Valley Herald you may read this article.  They report that Carri admits to telling her children to lie after training them that lying was a very serious offense because she knew that locking Hana in the closet was wrong.  If you cannot find a way to read it, Maureen gives a lot more detail anyway and includes a quote from the same article.

And here is Maureen’s report on Carri’s testimony.  Maureen was unsure about gluesticks so I will assume that many are also.  They are used in glueguns for crafts and come in 2 sizes, 3 inch and 12 inch.  It is the 12 inch ones which are sometimes used for chastisements. I have a post about that here.

Williams Trial – Day 21: Cousin’s Testimony Stricken

In case anyone has noticed the change in my numbering, I thought I should explain.  I started off numbering the first day of Jury Selection as Day 1 but since noticed that all the media was referring to the day of Opening Statements as Day 1.  This causes confusion and I decided to change to reflect the common numeration.  My URLs will continue to reflect my old numbering system to avoid a bunch of redirects.

Monday, August 26, 2013.  The morning started with the last witness for the Prosecution, a pediatrician who specializes on child abuse.  He testified that Hana was not just malnourished, but was starved and explained the cycle of abuse which typically leads to such a condition.  Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald (which is not for the easily triggered.)

After that witness, the jury was dismissed and motions were heard.  The  lawyers for Larry tried to dismiss the charges for various reasons.  One of the reasons was problems with Hana’s biological cousin.  The problems and concerns had enough merit that the judge decided to strike his testimony which basically means that it has been deleted.  The Skagit Valley Herald explains.  You can also find the story on KiroTV.

Maureen is back in the courtroom and provides us with much insight from Monday’s court session.  Of course, the faint of heart will read at their own risk.  I applaud Maureen for her dedication, her fortitude and her excellent writing.

Also, check out this piece in the Seattle Times which brings up the teachings of Michael Pearl in “To Train Up A Child.”

Williams Trial – Day 20: Testimony of Williams Family Friend

Friday, August 23, 2013 the Defense started calling their witnesses.  In the morning was testimony from a Forensic Anthropologist who estimated Hana’s age to be 15 but could be between 13-17 according to Gina Cole.  In the afternoon were character witnesses.  Interestingly, a family friend claimed that she made unannounced visits to the Williams home.  Since they lived behind a locked gate, there must have been some kind of announcement made before they entered the actual residence.  Some people don’t seem to understand how different people can be when outsiders are around. I sincerely hope that the jury does not fall into that category.

I have not found very much news from this day. Your best source of news may be #WilliamsTrial.  As always, if I find more news stories about this day, I will add them to this post.

 

Williams Trial – Day 19: More Forensic Dentistry

 

Thursday, August 22, 2013 was devoted to trying to figure out Hana’s age.  If the jury believes her to be 16, they cannot charge Larry and Carri Williams with Homocide by Abuse, a charge which only applies to children under the age of 16.  Earlier the Prosecution called a Forensic Dentist who could not determine Hana’s age at the time of death  and today the Defense called another Forensic Dentist who cannot sure of Hana’s age at the time of death.  However the first dentist said that she was probably at least 15 but could be 13-18 while this one says that he believes that she was 16 years and 3 months old.

Hana’s cousin was flown in from Ethiopia to testify that she was 13.  But instead of catching his flight back to Ethiopia, he disappeared which casts doubt as to the veracity of his testimony.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Here is the story from KiroTV.

And here is some very important insight from Maureen. Apparently, African children’s teeth develop earlier than Western children’s teeth.

According to Gina Cole, in the afternoon they had some witnesses discussing Immanuel’s scars.  A doctor said that he saw scars and the detective who interviews him did not.

Tomorrow morning the Prosecution has more witnesses scheduled and then Prosecution will rest and the Defense portion of the trial will commence.

Williams -Trial Day 18: Testimony of Immanuel’s Foster Mother

Wed, August 21,2013 saw  Immanuel’s foster mother on the stand.  KiroTV has that story (not for the sensitive.)  Interestingly, Defense brought up that Imanuel had been abusive towards the foster mother’s daughter.  I guess they are trying to prove that he is just a bad child, but what they really proved is that he was abused.  (How that works is graphically illustrated by this powerful and triggering Ad Campaign from Mexico. )

Here is the story from the Skagit Valley Herald which discusses foster mother’s testimony as well as the issues which were brought up in regards to Immanuel’s first interviews after Hana’s Death. The defense asserts that interviews planted ideas in the “highly suggestible” boy’s head.  She seems to forget that the testimony of the biological children backed up pretty much everything that Immanuel said.

Here is a large, comprehensive story in the British Newspaper, The Daily Mail.

Williams Trial – Day 17: Carri’s Interview With The Sheriff

As usual the testimony for Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 is not for the sensitive.   The sheriff who interviewed Carri just hours after Hana’s death took the stand and played a recording of the interview.  Carri was not emotional and the big headline of the day is that she blamed Hana for her own death.  She also told the sheriff that Hana was the healthiest person in the family.  Apparently, the fact that Hana had lost 30% of her body weight did not raise any red flags with her.  She also, apparently, forgot about Hana’s Hepatitis B (the  reason they give for making her use a port-a-potty.)

The other development of the day was that Larry William’s Defense tried to subpoena the Prosecuting Attorney, Rich Weyrich, as a witness.  The reason for this was that when Hana’s cousin (who was flown in to testify about Hana’s age) missed his flight back to Ethiopia, Rich Weyrich took evidence out of his hotel room and kept it for 3 days before turning it in.  As prospective witnesses are not allowed to be in the courtroom, this would have made him unable to act the part of Prosecuting Attorney.  The judge ruled that the evidence in question had nothing to do with the case and did not allow him to be barred from the courtroom.

Here is the story from the Skagit Valley Herald. Updated: Here is another story with much more info.  It also goes into the testimony of a church member who fosters the Williams children for a while and how one of the older boys did not allow his little sister to go swimming because he found the one piece swimsuit to be too revealing.  Incredibly enough, she stated that the same boy had said  that Hana was fat.

And here is the story from KiroTV.

For more details, live as it happens, check out #Williamstrial on Twitter.   You will probably want to click “All.”  It took me a while to notice that and I was only seeing “Top.”

Also, Maureen has a post about the article in the Seattle Times which includes a wrap up of Immanuel’s testimony.

Williams Trial – Day 16: Last Day of Immanuel’s Testimony

Monday, August 19, 2013, was the last day of Immanuel William’s testimony. He did such a great job in a very difficult situation and those of us watching are very proud of him.  The defense attorneys clarified with him that he sometimes had warm showers inside and did not take ALL his meals outside.  Wow, as if that really mitigated their treatment of him.  You can read the disturbing story in the Skagit Valley Herald. After Immanuel left the stand, the 16 year old biological son returned.  There are some issues with his testimony being inconsistent with his statement given right after Hana’s death.  He said that he did not want to talk to the social workers nor did he want to testify but that he told the truth both times. Next on the stand were a few minor witnesses as well as some CPS investigators and the sheriff’s deputy who had been at the home the night Hana died.  One shocking revelation is that the 16 year old told the sheriff’s deputy that Hana was possessed by a demon.  One has to wonder where he could possibly have gotten such an idea.

The Seattle Times has an article about the trial.  This article discusses the case as well as giving more information about adoptions in general and Ethiopian adoptions specifically.  In this article I found out that the defense says that Larry and Carri “regret certain parenting decisions.”  I had not heard that.  I wonder exactly which ones they regret since they still consider themselves not guilty.   As this article outlines the entire case and trial so far, it is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Here is a brief story about Monday’s testimony from KiroTV.  It focuses on how both Immanuel and the 16 year old biological son were asked if they had been telling the truth.

Chandra, who was at the courthouse last week, has posted Sorrow, Tears & Questions: The trial of Hana Williams’ adoptive parents.

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 13: A Juror Is Dismissed and Torture Expert

This morning (Wed Aug 14, 2013) the witness was Dr. Katherine Porterfield, a New York City-based doctor who works with torture and trauma victims.  They sent the jury out after one hour as explained in this article in the Skagit Valley Herald.  For more about today, please check out Gina Cole’s Twitter Feed. Edited to update:  Here is an article about the Torture Expert’s testimony from the Skagit Valley Herald. It goes without saying that his article is not for the faint of heart or the easily triggered. For those who chose not to read the article, the short answer is that they were tortured with a combination of physical and psychological elements.  This article is Subscriber Content and will count towards the 5 articles you are allowed to read each 30 days. In the afternoon, the judge dismissed one of the jurors for sleeping during the trial according to this story on KiroTV. The Skagit Valley Herald has a new article about yesterday’s testimony of the orphanage doctor which I am also adding to yesterday’s post.

Williams Trial – Day 12: Immanuel Testifies for the 5th Time

Today, Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013,  Immanuel was back in court after a 3 day break.  There was no court session on Monday, in case anyone was wondering. The defense attorneys continue to play hard ball with poor Immanuel, which is very upsetting.  Here is the story on Kiro TV.  Also,  Maureen has a post about that called, “Snakes, A Child, and Defense Attorneys.”

Also on the stand today was someone who volunteered at Hana’s orphanage who testified that she was healthy, well fed and appeared to be less than 10 years old when she was adopted according to an article in the Skagit Valley Herald.

In other news, apparently Hana’s biological cousin did not take his flight home to Ethiopia, which means that he has overstayed his visa.  Police are now searching for him.  Now the defense attorneys are using this as a reason to doubt his testimony.  Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald and here is the story on Kiro TV.

Edited to add: Here is the story on King5 which tells us that another relative in Texas said that the missing cousin is ok.  Which begs the question, why did not not testify as to Hana’s age?  I can only assume that he is a distant relative who did not know her.

 

Williams Trial – Day 11: Testimony from Hana’s Biological Cousin

Today I would like to reflect on why we are following this trial.  It is because the Williams were Pearl Followers.  Their 7 biological children were all raised by the Pearl method and Carri was very happy and confident in this method being the best for everyone.  I know this from reading on the Remembrance of Hana Williams Facebook Group and from private messages from people who knew the Williams. I have been told that she would recommend To Train Up A Child, by Michael Pearl to everyone, even going so far as to give people the book.  Some have told me that they read the book and threw it away in disgust.   But they were intimidated by how confident she was and how perfect her children appeared and so most did nothing.  Someone did try to confront her about the abuse and was harshly scolded.

This is why this trial is so interesting to me.  When they adopted the children, they apparently expected them to also conform to the teachings and when they did not, they went WAY outside of what the Pearls teach.  I do not want to imply that they were following the Pearls’ teachings in regards to the adopted children.  The only thing they were following was the spirit of always winning, always being consistent and ever admitting defeat.  For more on that, please see my post, “Why Blame The Pearls At All?”.

I also read in the same Facebook group that the girls used to always dress like “Little House On The Prairie” but wore jeans to court when they testified.  This speaks volumes to me.  It took a lot of guts to defy their parents in that way.  They had to know that would upset and displease them.  Changing from a lifetime of all dresses to pants is a big step and can take years.  In a formal setting like court, they would not stand out for wearing dresses.  This makes me suspect that they have lost respect for their parents and their teachings.   Of course, it is also possible that the defense attorneys asked them to wear pants to show the court how normal they are and that they were not damaged by their upbringing.   I have no way of knowing, but I doubt that the Williams approved.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that a Forensic Dentist testified as to Hana’s likely age today and the best he could do was that she was somewhere between 13 and 18 years of age. He testified that she was probably at least 15 but would not be surprised if he were to find out that she was 13.  Hana’s biological cousin also testified today and I already know from his posts in the Facebook Group that she is 13.  If the jury believes the forensic dentist over the cousin, the Williams will be charged with Manslaughter By Domestic Violence instead of Homicide By Abuse.

Here is the story with video from KiroTV. They say that even if the jury were to throw out the charge of Homicide By Abuse, they could still spend decades in jail for manslaughter and assault.

Please note that Maureen has posted  part 2 of her case study.

Also, I added this article to yesterday’s post. It has some new information in it.  (This article is Subscriber Content and will add a cookie to your browser.  You are allowed to read 5 such articles in each 30 day period)

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 10: Immanuel Testifies for the 4th time (and more links)

The 2 eldest Williams boys will not face charges and will therefore be able to testify, according to an article in today’s Skagit Valley Herald.

In another article, the Skagit Valley Herald reports that Immanuel testified today that Carri and the biological children seemed to be laughing at Hana as she stumbled around outside.  This piece of information certainly adds insult to injury.  In this article we also learn that one of the defense lawyers was having some issues with the word choices being made by Immanuel’s translators and has subpoenaed one of them along with the victim’s advocate to testify some time in the future.

More about Immanuel’s testimony from KiroTV.  I am shocked and horrified at how the defense attorneys are treating that poor child!

I also know from Gina Cole’s tweets that the family doctor testified today that he saw nothing amiss.  He also did not see the adopted children after July 2010.

Edited to add:  Here is a new article from the Skagit Valley Herald with more information about today (Thurs, Aug 8, 2013.)

Rally Ethics For Orphans & at-Risk Minors (REFORM) has been keeping track of every detail of this tragic case and has it all neatly laid out in chronological order in 2 parts:

Part I – Before the start of the trial
Part II – The trial

Maureen has a poignant post about Hana’s hair.

Williams Trial – Day 9: Testimony of Williams Son

The Skagit Valley Herald reports on the court session of Aug 7, 2013.  It is pretty much more of the same.  The only new info seems to be that Carri would play the audio Bible for Hana while she was locked in the closet in an effort to change her thinking.  I don’t even know how to respond to that.   Using the Word of God as part of a torture cannot be a good thing.

This article says that Hana’s biological cousin was set to testify this afternoon.  A tweet from Gina Cole told us that his interpreter was MIA and his testimony had to be postponed until Thursday, Aug 8.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Maureen takes a close look at the Williams Adoption Case in Case Study, Part 1: The Williamses’ Adoption Agency

I would like to make note that I added a very interesting (while disturbing) article to yesterdays post in case you missed it.  The thing which I found so interesting was that while Immanuel was being questioned, the defense lawyers were asking him leading questions and when he would deny something, they would act as if he had not denied it.  I sure hope that the jury made note of that.

Williams Trial – Day 8: Testimony of Williams Daughter Continues

The  Skagit Valley Herald report for the morning of Tues Aug 6, is not for the faint of heart.  One of the biological daughters describes exactly what happened on the night that Hana died and I believe that her testimony is going to turn out to be very instrumental in proving that Carri guilty of homicide by abuse.

Here is the story (with video) from KiroTV.  This story tells us that the daughter testifying is Sarah.  It also tells us that the sons who were planning to take the 5th amendment have been given immunity and will testify which kind of contradicts the article in the Skagit Valley Herald which only says that they might be offered immunity.

Immanuel returned to testify this afternoon but the only information I have found about that is these 2 tweets from Gina Cole.

 

 Edited to add:  A new article by the Skagit Valley Herald has been posted which has more info.  Note that this article is Subscriber Content and will count as one of the 5 free articles we are allowed each month.  I have read many lately which did not, and have not quite figured out the whys and wherefores of that.

Williams Trial – Day 6: Testimony of Torture Expert

The Skagit Valley Herald reports on Friday’s Court Session in the Williams’ Case.  Please be aware that this is very hard to read and steel yourself before reading.  If you are sensitive to abuse triggers, you might want to forgo this link as well as the rest of the links in this blog post.

Here is a report and video from Kiro 7 TV.

John Hutson is a retired Attorney for the Navy and Marines who has spent 12 years studying torture and has testified before congress on the subject numerous times.  He was the only witness on the morning of Friday Aug 2, 2013.  Larry Williams’ lawyers questioned his qualifications since his expertise was in military and international situations, but the judge allowed his testimony providing he did not try to give a legal definition of torture.  He submitted a 3 page report based on hundreds of pages of information provided to him beforehand, admitting that he did not read every word.  His testimony in a nutshell was that the 2 children were unquestionably tortured.  It was not a close call, there were no doubts in his mind and there were no two ways about it.

The afternoon saw the testimony of various people who knew the Williams family.  They testified about things like how Carri disciplined her children (both what they saw and what she told them,) the plastic tubing which she used as a “spanking rod,” how Larry would prevent Immanuel from signing with a deaf man at church and how Hana got thinner and changed her behavior over the 3 years.

Then Detective Dan Luvera of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office testified about how he collected the evidence and took photos after Hana died.  He showed them everything and discussed the autopsy, which he watched.

There is talk about some of the Williams’ biological children testifying on Monday.

Here is Maureen’s Report for Aug 2, 2013.  She gives a lot of details of Mr. Hutson’s testimony about what constitutes torture and motivations for torture. I must share this important quote from Maureen’s report:

Mr. Hutson: That said, it doesn’t matter what the motivation is for torture. There may be an excuse, but there is no justification. To me, this is the heart of the entire day, if not the entire case.

 

Williams Trial – Day 5: Second Day of Immanuel’s Testimony

Komo News reports on what happened in court on August 1, 2013.  Immanuel gives more testimony of the horrid and dehumanizing treatment he suffered in the Williams home.  I must note that while the article says that the Williams have 3 biological children who did not suffer the same abuse, the truth is that they have 7 biological children who did not suffer the same abuse.

Also, a family friend testified that Carri had complained about hana’s lack of obedience and frequent spankings.

And here is Maureen’s report which gives us a lot more heart wrenching detail.  She also discusses the issue of the older Williams boys testifying or taking the fifth.

Maureen tells us about a new witness, John Hutson,  “…an expert about torture and interrogation techniques. He has testified many times before Congress and elsewhere.”  So far, all he has testified to are his credentials.  The judge has approved him, so he will no doubt return.

Updated to add: I just found this story and video from KiroTV.com which reports that they showed jurors the video of Hana taken before the adoption and picture taken shortly before her death. Quite the contrast. 🙁

I notice that everyone else is calling Thursday the 5th day of the trial.  I started counting on the first day of Jury Selection which adds 4 days to my count.

Williams Trial – Day 4: Testimony of Immanuel’s Therapist

Here is the link to Maureen’s report for Wednesday, July 31, 2013.  As usual, any potential witnesses and jurors should stay away from both this site and hers.  I will include a very brief summary below for the faint of heart and the time-strapped.

Here is a report from Tadias.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 was taken up with the testimony of Julia Peterson, Immanuel’s Therapist.  She is deaf, as is Immanuel, and testified with the help of two hearing interpreters.  She began working with Immanuel in Dec 2011.

Ms. Peterson testified that Immanuel was very fearful of making mistakes and that he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD.)  The defense lawyers tried to get her to agree that it was possible that his PSTD came from trauma he suffered in Ethiopia, but she was very firm that it came from the trauma which he suffered at the hands of the Williams. The defense lawyers also tried to get her to agree to hypothetical statements which she refused to do.

 

Williams Trial – Day 3: Autopsy Testimony

Here is Maureen’s report from Tuesday, July 30, 2013.  I will give a brief summary below for the faint of heart and/or the short of time.

Dr. Daniel Selove testified about the autopsy and explained how he arrived at the conclusion that Hana died of hypothermia and that malnutrition and H. Pylori contributed to her death.  She showed evidence of being switched before her death, but that did not contribute to her death.  The defense attorneys asked if it was possible that Hana had bulimia/anorexia and were told that there was no sign of that.  They then went on to discuss how bulimia/anorexia can be practiced secretly.  Maureen and I both consider this idea outrageous  considering the lack of privacy they were given in that house per Immanuel’s testimony.

Gay Knutson, from  Adoption Advocates International (who handled Hana’s case) testified about the adoption documents and how adoptions are handled.  Every adoptive family is required to submit a post adoptive report every year until the child turns 18.  The Williams had not submitted one since 2009.  Families are encouraged to call if they need help and there was no record of the Williams ever calling.

Then Yohannes Kidane, an instructional assistant with Seattle Public schools, (who is fluent in English, Amharic, and Tigrinya) testified as to the veracity of the translated documents and explained the Ethiopian calendar.  Maureen noted that the Defense was asking him about his early education while they did not question any of the other witnesses about their education.  Mr. Kidane is expected to return today.

Here is the article from the Skagit Valley Herald.

 

 

Williams Trial – Day 2: First Day of Immanuel’s Testimony

Yesterday, Monday July 29th, was Immanuel’s first day of testimony.  He is scheduled for 3 half days.  Here are the reports I have found so far for that day.

Komo News reports on Immanuel’s testimony. Also, someone who apparently knows the family attempts to explain what happened in this comment.  Edited to note that the comments have been stripped from this article.

Kiro TV reports on Immanuel’s Testimony in Boy tells jury his adopted parents beat him until he bled.  From the video which accompanies this story, I found out that they played the 911 call in court today and that Immanuel will testify for 2 more days.  As usual, this story/video is not for the sensitive because of child abuse triggers.

Edited to add:  Maureen has finally posted her report of yesterday’s testimony.  This is a hard case to watch and I’m not at all surprised that she was not ready to post last night.  While not easy to read, I think that all but the most sensitive could handle it.  She does mention upsetting things, of course so those with abuse triggers should probably stay away from this case entirely (as should any jurors and potential witnesses.)

Williams Trial – Day 1: Opening Statements

Maureen starts her report today with a warning for prospective witnesses and all jurors to abstain from reading her blog.  I must agree with her and include this blog in that restriction.  There is a LOT here which is off limits for witnesses and jurors, and it is best to err on the side of caution.

She then went on to discuss the courts reaction to her blog which must have given her quite the adrenaline rush.  I can only imagine.  Then the motions of the morning and on to the opening statements.

I will now make a disclaimer that the sensitive  should probably not read the opening statements.  In fact, the entire case is very upsetting.  This case is a very upsetting and disturbing case and not for the faint of heart.  For that reason, I will attempt to keep you up to date without giving you the gory details.

The Prosecution gave opening statements in which they outlined the deplorable treatment of Hana and Immanuel.  They started out treating them fine but when their behavior did not meet the Williams’ standards, they escalated their treatment from bad to worse.  Their punishments were cruel and abusive by pretty much anyone’s definition.

Carri’s Defense Lawyer made opening statements in which he explained how Carrie had tried to get Hana back into the house and warmed up but was unable to.  While admitting that her discipline was excessive, he asked if it was “substantial bodily harm.”  I’m not positive, but I believe that means that he was questioning if it was the discipline which caused her death.  As I understand it, that is the real question.  He then went on to respond to many of the prosecution’s points.

Larry’s Defense Lawyer described Larry’s role in the family and how the family worked.  They had a large family and a lot of rules.  They were starting to doubt the effectiveness of spanking as it did not seem to be working during the last year as the two adopted children had become very oppositional. She went on to discuss the issues of knowing Hana’s exact age and blamed Hana’s weight loss on medical issues beyond the Williams’ control.

A large part of Larry’s defense seems to be that he was not around that much and that Carrie was in charge of most of the running of the house while he was working to provide for the family. He was not even home the night that Hana was dying. Oh, and he gave them ice cream once. That was apparently a very important point since she reminded them of that again at the end as she urged them to find him not guilty.

Now, here are some news stories about the trial today.  Again, these links are not for the faint of heart.

Trial begins for couple accused of starving adopted daughter on King 5.

Trial begins for parents accused of killing adoptive daughter on Komo News.

 

Williams Trial – Day (-1): The Jury is Selected

Well, Maureen faithfully posted yesterday’s events late last night.  Words cannot express how impressed I am by both her reporting and her dedication.  She reports that the  jury has been selected and sworn in.  She also mentions the scores of motions which have been brought before the court  and promises more details about them this weekend.   Today (Friday) there were motions in the morning and opening statements were scheduled for this afternoon.  She promises to be there for the opening remarks and I do not doubt that she will post about them as soon as she is able.

Google tells me that the Skagit Valley Herald has an article about yesterday which I will not read as I have clicked on too many of their links already this month.   (I don’t know why they don’t warn you before allowing you to land on the page and use up one your 5 monthly views.  I never would have chosen to read them if I had been given the choice as they were old articles but I was on Twitter where you can’t see what you are clicking on.)

Williams Trial – Day (-3): Jury Selection

If you are following along at home, you will want to read Maureen’s Update on the Williamses’ Trial: July 23 in which she describes in impressive detail the narrowing down of the jury pool from over 160 to about 80.  I found this account quite interesting, especially as the potential jurors were asked to discuss how they feel about spanking, when it becomes abuse and their definition of torture.

There is also an article in the Skagit Valley Herald about today’s court session.  I will not be linking to this newspaper much in the near future since they only allow 5 views of their articles per 30 day period and I have already used up 3 of them.  Since Maureen does such a good job of reporting, I see no reason to pay for a subscription.  In the even that Maureen cannot attend, I will get information from other newspapers.

And, in case anyone is wondering why I am covering this, Cindy from Under Much Grace ties it together.

Williams Trial – Day (-4): Jury Selection

Maureen at Light Of Day Stories shares her first hand report of  The Williams Trial – Day 1.

Komo News has an article about the case also.

Edited to add: I had originally called this Day 1 but found that there is a confusion because the media calls the day of Opening Statements Day 1.  Therefore, I am changing the numbering accordingly.

Williams’ Trial Begins Today

The Seattle Times reported on the trial of Larry and Carri Williams which begins today with jury selection.  I will be posting  updates as once a day, editing the daily post as I add new information to each day.

Update:  Komo News reports that jury selection has begun and gives a recap of events up to now.

Pre-Trial Hearing For The Williams Case

The Skagit Valley Herald reports on the Pre-Trial Hearing for the Hana Alemu “Williams” case.

This article has some very interesting information.  It appears that the Defense had made quite a few motions, all of which were denied by the judge.  It also turns out that there is now a biological relative available to testify to Hana’s true birth date.  The trial is scheduled to proceed on Monday,  July 22, 2013.

Prosecutors Still Trying To Verify Hana’s Age

According to an article in the Skagit Valley Herald, prosecutors in the Williams court case are seeking Hana Alemu’s uncle to testify to verify her age. Her body was exhumed for that purpose, but the examination proved to be inconclusive. The reason they need her age is that the charge they are trying to prove is only valid for children under 16 years of age.

I should mention that in the Remembrance of Hanna Williams group on Facebook there is a scan of Hana’s Baptismal Certificate as well as a higher quality version a member fixed.  I should also mention that Hana was born on March 8, 1997 (1/8/1989 according to the Ethiopian Calendar which is different from ours.)  She died on May 12, 2011.

The Pearls in the Religion News

Jonathan Merritt has published an article about Michael and Debi Pearl on ReligionNews.com entitled, How Influential Are Michael and Debi Pearl?  And How Harmful? He only found out about them recently but has apparently done his homework very well.

Bill To Protect Adopted Children Being Considered

House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill to protect adopted children as a response to the Hana Alemu “Williams”  case. More information in this article in The Capitol Record.


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