Not Allowed To Foster Because of Spanking

Gregory and Melanie Magazu have been told that they may not have foster children because they spank their own children. I think that it is a good thing. Foster children have enough trauma, without being aware of children in the home being hit. This applears to be a test case, so I will be watching it.

Life Sentence for Killing Child While Trying To Break his Will

Markiece Palmer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the beating death of Roderick “RJ” Arrington. This was another case of parents abusing their child in the name of religion. The part I found intersting about this case was that the judge condemned him for his attempt to break the child’s will. Here is the quote from the story in The Las Vegas Review Journal. (Warning, upsetting story; not for the faint of heart)

“You used your faith as a basis to justify that,” District Judge David Barker said at Palmer’s sentencing hearing. “It sounds to me like you were trying to break him, this little boy, to break his spirit, to break his will.”

ETA: There was some question about the report to CPS on my Facebook wall, which led me to share this (very disturbing) news story.

Update: A settlement has been reached in the civil suit brought by the child’s father.

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.

 

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.)

How Could They?

Under Much Grace looks at how parents find themselves falling into abusive teachings in A Film that Helps Us Understand Why Pearl Becomes Appealing: How do parents get caught up in extreme practices?

Also of interest, she reflects on the Williams Trial in Homeschooling, Hana Williams and the “Rod of Man.”

 

The Williams Trial – Update

The Skagit Valley Herald has an article (Subscriber Content) which states that Prosecutors have dropped the charge of  Homicide By Abuse against Larry Williams.  Those who were following the trial may remember that the jury was deadlocked on that charge and were unable to return a verdict for it.  The charge was officially dropped on Sept 23.

Sentencing was originally scheduled for Oct 8, but it has been postponed until Oct 29 at 9:30 AM.

Mareen also writes about this, here.

The Seattle Times also has an article here.

The Williams Trial – Next Up: Sentencing

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

Reflections on the Williams Trial

As I reflect with sorrow and horror at the tragedy which was the Williams Trial, I find myself trying to make sense of what happened and why.

What I see as the root problem is pride. The Bible says that God hates pride.  We know that “pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18).  I believe that very few people would argue with me when I say that Carri Williams had a problem with pride.  I heard her described as a person who had to be always right.  She was said to have perfect children.  People described her as intimidating because her children were so perfect.  I was told that when someone disagreed with her, they had a hard time confronting her because she had a reputation for a very cutting tongue.  So, when people had concerns about how she was raising her children, they just withdrew away from her and left her alone. What else could they do? She would not listen,  and she certainly would not accept help.

I’m not sure how and when she found To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. [Read more…]

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 28: Jury Deliberation Issues

I totally did not expect any more drama in this trial until the verdict was reached but I was wrong.  One of the jurors disclosed that his wife works for the Prosecutor’s office during Jury Selection and both attorneys were fine with it then and accepted him.  Today, he was asked to be Presiding Juror and he declined, saying that it made him uncomfortable.  Then the Defense decided that they no longer wanted him on the jury and he was asked to leave. A new juror has been selected from the alternates and the 2.5 hours they had deliberated is now lost, as they need to start all over with the new juror.

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald. The jury then asked to hear the 911 call and interview again.

Here is the story on King 5.

Maureen explains how to follow the trial in real time on Twitter.

At 4:30 PDT, the jurors were sent home for the weekend.

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.

 

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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.