Maj. John and Carolyn Jackson on trial for abuse

I just found out about a new abuse trial, that of Army Maj. John E. Jackson and his wife, Carolyn.  The North Jersey Record writes about the case here.  It involves 3 adopted children, one of whom died some time ago (which they are now investigating due to the findings of abuse of the other 2.) I normally would not post about a case when religion has not been mentioned, but according to this story, when the oldest biological son confronted his father about the abuse, he was told that children were being trained. This article is giving me flashbacks of the Williams case.

Updates:

Doctor’s Testimony

Social Worker’s Testimony

Carri Williams Appeals

Maureen shares an update of the Barbour case, in which Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6-12 months for pleading no contest to the felony charge of endangering her 2 adopted Ethiopian children.  What I find most surprising is that she will be allowed to go home and take care of her children for 40 hours per week. This is all explained in this article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Update:  More about the Barbour case in this article: Franklin Park child abuse case draws protest, counter-protest.

She then goes on to tell us about Carri Williams and the 59 page appeal brief she has filed, which she has on her site for us to read.  This is a lot to read, but I’ll try to summarize what I can understand.  They argue that it was not proven that Hana was under 16 nor that Immanuel’s scars were caused by Carri, that the terms “torture” and “extreme indifference to human life” were unconstitutionally vague and that she was deprived of a necessary witness.  They bring up the witness who claimed to be Hana’s uncle and testified to her age being 13 and then fled instead of returning to Ethiopia. It later came out that the State had paid him for his testimony. His testimony was stricken from the case, but the jury had heard it.  They also show where the prosecuting atty gave opinions and was instructed by the judge to stop more than once.  For these reasons, they believe that it should have been ruled a mistrial.

For more on the Williams case, please see my Hana Alemu “Williams” tag.

 

More About the Old Schoolhouse and Abuse

Homeschoolers Anonymous has a new article about Homeschool Leaders covering up sexual abuse. (*trigger warning*) They focus on Paul and Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, who I have mentioned before.  They are assisted in this story by Eric Novak who used to work for The Old Schoolhouse and was close to the family.

The reason I am interested in this piece is that Paul and Gena Suarez are staunch defenders of the Pearls. This article details some of their abuses and is not for the sensitive.

This piece also exposes that many respected homeschool leaders are aware of this situation yet chose to ignore it and continue to support and promote The Old Schoolhouse.  It is a very disturbing document, indeed.

For more info about this, please see these posts by Eric Novak
Why I Care about the Homeschool & Christian Community
An Open Letter to Heidi St. John
HSLDA & Heidi St. John Refuse to Support Victims of Abuse

The Christian Post Looks At The Petition To Amazon

The Christian Post reports that the Change.org petition (asking Amazon to stop selling the controversial book, To Train Up A Child) is closing in on 100,000 signatures. They then take a closer look at the Pearls’ teachings and the controversy surrounding them.

To Condition Up A Child?

Michael Pearl says that his teachings are Biblical.  Lee Woofenden does not agree and he explains why in his post, To Train Up A Child, or: Spare the Rod? What Rod?  This is a long article and worth the read.  He points out, among other things, that Mr. Pearl is actually teaching parents to condition their children which is not Biblical.

Anderson Cooper 360 Takes Another Look At The Pearls

Andersoon Cooper 360 has taken their old footage from the interview Gary Tuchman did with Pearls back in Oct 2011 and the stories they did about the death of Lydia Schatz and remixed it with new footage about Hana “Williams,” in this new episode of Godly Discipline. They then discuss the Pearls’ culpability or lack of it, in the deaths. You will find both parts of this show (in 2 videos) on this page. You will find the transcript here. The segment in question starts about 2/3 of the way down. The easiest way to find it would be to use the find feature and search for “To Train Up A Child.”

Note: Here is more information about the Find Feature.

In case anyone is wondering, I am not in favor of holding the Pearls legally accountable.  The parents are to blame for following man instead of God.  Yes, the Bible does say that teachers bear a greater responsibility and God’s judgement will be fair.  I do believe that the teachings are dangerous and do my best to convince parents not to follow them and bookstores not to sell them. However, I am not trying to get the book banned, nor to harm the Pearls in any way.

 

British Parliament Wants Amazon to Stop Selling TTUAC

Nadine Dorries, a member of the British Parliament, is insisting that Amazon.co.uk stop selling Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child, according to an article by Jessica Elgot in the Huffington Post.

The story was then picked up by Parentdish who wrote quite a long article about the story as well as the book in question.

Also, there is a new petition on Change.com asking Amazon.co.uk to stop selling To Train Up A Child.   This petition is only about To Train Up A Child, unlike the old petition which asked Amazon to “refuse to carry books which advocate the physical abuse of children,” including, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

On top of that, @ADadCalledSpen has An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and All @Amazon About To Train Up A Child going around Twitter.

The Williams Trial – The Aftermath

Maureen has an update on the Williams, just to tie up loose ends.

The Williams Trial: Day 30 – The Sentence

Tuesday October 29, 2013, the Williams were sentenced to prison for a very long time.  Carri has been sentenced for 37 years and Larry for almost 28 years.

Maureen was there and shares about it here.  You might also find this older post of interest, she wrote it the day before the sentencing.

Cindy Kunsman, of Under Much Grace, responds to Judge Cook’s comment, “I am at a complete loss as to why this happened,” in An Open Message to Judge Susan Cook About the Williams’ Sentencing: The Development of the Perfect Storm, in which she attempts to explain why.

After the sentencing, the Ethiopian Community Center had a graveside service for Hana.  (More about the graveside service.) They are working on getting a proper headstone for her grave.  So far, they have not been successful because the family owns the plot so they are considering making a memorial elsewhere. For more information on that, see the Facebook Group.

I should also mention that this might not be the last we hear of this story as there has been talk of an appeal.

Here are some news stories:

Skagit County couple receives long sentences in fatal abuse case on Kiro TV

Decades in prison for Skagit Co. pair who killed adopted girl on Komo News.

Williamses sentenced in adopted daughter’s death in the Skagit Valley Herald.
Decades in prison for Williams couple also in the Skagit Valley Herald and with more quotes

Skagit County couple sentenced to prison for adopted daughter’s death in the Seattle Times.

Couple given long sentences for death of adopted girl on King 5 News which includes video from the sentencing. In this video we see a family friend speaking on the Williams’ behalf calling them “two of the truest and purest people on this earth.”  I find that statement so flabbergasting that I don’t even know how to respond to it.

Religious Handbook Parents Carri and Larry Williams Given 65 Years for Killing Ethiopian Daughter in the UK Paper, the International Business Times.

Larry Williams’ Lawyers Still Trying

According to recent news stories, Larry Williams’ Lawyers are trying to get him a new trial and/or  a short sentence.  The sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald which discusses them requesting a new trial. (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Here is the story on Kiro TV which discusses them asking for a sentence of only 5 years (with 2 years credit for time served) because he had no idea what his wife was doing while he was away at work.

Also, Carri’s lawyers want her Manslaughter conviction dropped, since she was charged for the more serious crime, according to this story in the Skagit Valley Herald.  (Clicking on this story will add a cookie to your browser to ensure that you only view 5 such stories in any 30 day period.)

Not To Worry, Carri Williams Is Being Kept Safe

In case anyone was worried about how Carri Williams is faring in jail, the Skagit Valley Herald reports that she is being kept safe in one of the Work Release pods.  This was an upgrade from the Solitary Confinement cell she was in before, as they are not healthy to use  for long term use.  It’s nice to know that they are doing their best to be as humane as possible while she is paying the price for accidentally torturing her daughter to death.  Maybe she will start to understand the concept of grace, (unmerited favor.)

Meanwhile, Larry has been in custody for 2 years and the article does not mention what protective measures they have been using to keep him alive, but one must assume that they are in place.

Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 29.

The Williams Trial – Next Up: Sentencing

Maureen tells us that sentencing will be Oct 8.  She got that information from the Skagit Valley Herald.

Williams Trial – Day 29: The Verdict

Monday, September 9, 2013 the jury returned the verdict. Carri Williams was found guilty of homicide by abuse and
first-degree assault of a child. Larry Williams was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child. There was no verdict on homicide by abuse charge for Larry.  The jury was unable to agree and/or the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.  Sentencing  is up to the judge and I heard that it would be in mid-October.

Here is the story in the Seattle Times.

Certainly, there will be many articles written on this story. In an effort to get this breaking news to you right away, I will post this now and add in a few links to the best articles as I find them.

Here is Maureen’s report.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the preliminary story in the Skagit Valley Herald, and here is the complete story.

Here is the story on Komo News.  In this story I found out that Larry’s Defense plans to file an appeal.

Here is the story in the US edition of The Guardian which appears to be an overseas paper.

Here is Janet Heimlich’s report of the story on her blog, Religious Child Maltreatment.

The Williams Trial – Day 27: Closing Arguments End, Jury Deliberation Starts

Thursday, September 5, 2013, saw Carri Williams defense team giving closing arguments and the Prosecution’s rebuttal.  Then the jury was sent out for deliberation and the No Contact Order for Larry, Carri and their 2 adult sons was lifted.

According to a tweet by Gina Cole, Dependency court will decide on dissolution of or limits on no-contact orders with the minor biological children.  I hope that means that there is no risk of them gaining access to Immanuel.  Here is her article in the Skagit Valley Herald about the Closing Arguments by Carri’s Public Defender.  As always, all stories have potential triggers and are not for the sensitive.

Here is the story on Komo News.

Here is the story on KiroTV in which they interview our own Maureen.

Here is a quick update from Maureen who promised more later.  And here is the promised follow up post which goes into great detail.

I would also like to thank Cindy at Under Much Grace for her kind words. All the glory to God.  I am grateful that He has chosen to use me in this small way.  I also thank Maureen for her kind words.  I am very thankful for her excellent reporting and am more than happy to promote it as the best source of information on this trial.

 

Some Looks At The Williams

Cindy Kunsman, from Under Much Grace, looks at the Williams Trial and compares the Williams family with the Schatz family in
Awaiting the Verdicts in the Williams Trial: Another Michael Pearl/To Train Up A Child Associated Death.  She also gives a brief outline of Pearl and his teachings and a lamentation for the devastation they have caused both to Christian families as well as to the lost who observe and turn away in disgust.

Maureen looks at the homeschoolings aspect of the Williams in Homeschooling, Christians, Identity, and Isolation.  (Speaking of Maureen, I just added a (very triggering) link to the 2nd half of Carri’s testimony to last friday’s post.)

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 22: Testimonies of Joshua and Larry Williams

Tuesday August 27, 2013 saw both Joshua and Larry Williams take the stand.  Maureen covers both stories in great detail in 2 separate posts.

Here is Maureen’s post about Joshua who is the Williams oldest child.  He is 19 or 20 and is in the Army, serving in Korea.  His testimony was focused on if he had heard his parents arguing and if Larry was really the boss of the household.  At first he said that he was but it appears that at some point things changed.  In this post is the beginning of Larry’s testimony.  He admits to feeling ashamed and responsible because he did not intervene.

Here is Maureen’s post about the rest of Larry’s testimony.  He said that every decision was Carri’s.  He had decided that the discipline was not working and wanted her to change but she would not.  When asked why he didn’t take things into his own hands, he explained that he wished that he had but Carri had him convinced by her track record that she knew what she was doing. He also went into the whole story of how and why they adopted the children and how the harsh discipline started.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

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 15: Testimony of Joseph Williams

Today, August 16, 2013,  Joseph Williams (16) took the stand.  He had a really hard time remembering things and got very emotional.  Testifying against their parents is so very hard for these children.   This is where I see a big difference between the Williams parents and the Schatz parents.  The Schatz parents accepted a plea bargain partly in order to spare their children from testifying, according to this article in the Chico Enterprise Record.  The other reason for accepting the plea bargain was to make sure that Mrs. Schatz served a shorter sentence.  The prosecutor believed that the jury would not have found Mrs. Schatz guilty of murder as she was clearly under her husband’s control.  However, in the article, it is clear that Mrs. Schatz is very remorseful. What a contrast with Mr. and Mrs. Williams!  I have seen no remorse from the Williams’, nor compassion for their children.  On top of that, they have different lawyers and do not quite appear to be on the same team.

Here is the story from Kiro TV.  Again, this is hard to watch and is not for the very sensitive.

Here is the story from the Skagit Valley Herald.   Heartbreaking.  The infractions for which the adopted children were punished is just unbelievable.  The idea of of a child in a family “stealing food” is just foreign to me.

Also, today was the first time a witness had been asked about the book, To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.  Joseph said that they had the book, but he had not read it.

Also, Judge Susan Cook has given up on any predictions for a end to the trial and told the jury to be prepared to be there through the 2nd week of September.

 

Williams Trial – Day 14: Testimony of Jacob Williams

Early this morning the Skagit Valley Herald posted a new and very informative article about yesterday’s testimony which I added to yesterday’s post.

Today, August 15, 2013, saw one of the 2 eldest sons of the Williams on the stand.  Kiro TV has the story.  Jacob Williams (18)  might have given the most condemning testimony so far.  Jacob testified that his parents told him to lie to police about hitting his adopted siblings and not to talk about spankings, the closet or the shower room.   If I understand the situation correctly, they raised these children under Pearls’ teachings and taught them to never lie.  They taught them to love and obey God and that liars go to Hell.  They told them that they were following God’s directives to spank them in order to train them to be good Christians.  They taught them to obey without question.   Then they told them to lie to police.  Thankfully, the children were able to sort out right from wrong and disobeyed their parents in order to obey God.   They told the police the truth and testified the truth in court.

Update: Gina Cole of  the Skagit Valley Herald has posted this story about this day’s proceedings.  As usual, this story can be triggering and is not for the faint of heart.

I should also mention that this story also talks a bit about clinical psychologist Katherine Porterfield’s testimony about how she came to the conclusion that the Williams children were tortured.

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 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.)