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.

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.

 

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 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 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.