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.

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.

The Williams Trial Plods Along

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that the Court will allow defense experts to to examine Hana’s remains for use  in the trial.  They have yet to set a date for the exhumation. Murder trials are always slow moving and are usually continued many times.  At this time, the trial is still scheduled for Feb 4, 2013.

Update Jan 4, 2012:
The trial has been postponed until July 22, 2013.

More Details About Williams Latest Hearing

As reported yesterday, the Williams had a court hearing on Wednesday, November 28,2012. The Skagit Valley Herald has a more detailed report on that hearing today.

Also, here is a report I missed on Wednesday from Komo News. I had not heard that the Birth Certificate could not be trusted because it is from Ethiopia. I gather that means that the Baptismal Certificate I mentioned yesterday is also not valid in the eyes of the court.

Hana’s Body To Be Exhumed

According to a recent news story in the Skagit Valley Herald, Hana “Williams” will not rest in peace. The court has granted the prosecutors permission to exhume Hana’s body in order to prove her age. This is important because the charge of homicide by abuse only applies to victims under 16 years of age. According to a scanned baptismal certificate on the Remembrance of Hanna Willams Facebook page, Hana was born on March 8, 1997 (1/8/1989 according to the Ethiopian Calendar which is different from ours.) In this same hearing, Larry and Carri Williams pled not guilty to the new charges of manslaughter by domestic violence which I assume was added to the case for back up in just in case prosecutors are unable to prove homicide by abuse.

Linda Thomas has a very good synopsis of the case at MyNorthWest.com.

Also, Q13 Fox Seattle Tacoma also has a write up of the case.

Prosecutors file new charges against the Williams

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that the prosecutors in the Williams case have added the charge of first-degree manslaughter by domestic violence to the existing charges of  homicide by abuse for Hana and first-degree child assault for their younger adopted son.  They also quote the charging documents as saying, “offense was part of an ongoing pattern of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse of a victim or multiple victims manifested by multiple incidents over a prolonged period of time.”

This new charge is most likely a back up in case they cannot use the charge of homicide by abuse which is only applicable to victims under 16.  Since Hana’s age is not known, they cannot prove it in court at this time.  There is a hearing scheduled for mid-December to decide if her body will be exhumed in order to determine her actual age.

This article is also posted in The Seattle Times with a few minor changes.

Update on Williams Court Case

The Williams Court Case is in the news again.  This story in The Komo News reviews what happened to Hana Alemu “Williams” and how charges came to be filed over a year ago and brings us up to date with where the case stands now.  For more info about this case, please see my Hana Amelu “Williams tag.

According to this news story:

Hana’s death also plays a prominent role in a new report ordered by the governor’s office on the severe abuse of adopted children. The state doesn’t do any background checks or home checks on international or private adoptions, and is looking into standardizing those procedures.

The report referenced can be found here, but remember that as it discusses this case and other severe abuse cases, it is probably not for the faint of heart.

I do not have the recently released DSHS report, but I do have the very disturbing sheriff’s report which was released last year.



Delaware Bans Spanking?

Delaware’s new anti-abuse law prohibits causing pain to children. Does this effectively ban spanking? Here are a few articles on the subject:

Does a new law in Delaware ban spanking? on CNN’s The Situation Room.

Spanking Ban in Delaware? First State to Pass Law Expanding Child Abuse Definition Sparks Debate on Yahoo’s Shine.

It looks like the bill is not intended to ban spanking, but the language is vague enough that it could be used to. I will be keeping my eye on this story.

Is It Discipline Or Sexual Assault?

Molly explains the evil of allowing adult men to spank teenaged girls in Texas schools.  If you are very sensitive, you might want to just skip this one.

Spanking To Be Banned in Scotland?

The UK Daily Mail reports that Scottish Parliament is scheduled to discuss an anti-spanking law.

Controversial anti-smacking legislation giving tougher legal protection to children was expected to be detailed in a Scottish Parliament Bill today.

The proposed legislation was set to outlaw the hitting of all children with any implement and the smacking of children under three.

Read the rest of the article here.

Williams Trial Postponed Until Feb 2013

According to the Skagit County Herald, the “homicide by abuse” trial for Larry and Carri Williams is now scheduled for February 4, 2013.

Presbyterian Church Denounces Spanking

According to an article on ABC News 10 in Pitsburgh, “The nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination says it’s wrong to spank children.”

More details in the Pittsburg Post Gazette:

One of the most contested issues of the early afternoon was a recommendation that corporal punishment — including mild spanking — not be practiced in homes, schools or institutions.

Some commissioners said the church was overreaching by implying that those who spank their children are bad Presbyterians.

Advocates for the winning side said that children are the only people in the United States against whom violence is acceptable.

The anti-corporal punishment recommendation passed 334-306.

Naturally, there is a lot of controversy about this new resolution which is covered in this video from ABC News 33 40 Alabama.

TTUAC Withdrawn by Publisher in Poland

Polish Anti-Spanking Community Książki nie do bicia left a comment on my Facebook page saying,

Hi! We would like to inform you that the publishing of a book “To train up a child” (and one more) has been withdrawn Poland (by the publisher).
There are some other books like that (Fugate, Dobson, Smalley, Barnes) in Poland, but we hope that they will be withdrawn too.
We hope that all this books will be withdrawn everywhere! 🙂

This story is from February 2012, but I had not heard about it so I very much appreciate them sharing the news with us. Here is the news story they linked for me and here is an English translation of it. Of course, the translation is done by computer program, so it is not perfect, but gives us the idea.

This is very good news!  The Polish Anti Spanking community has been working hard and have convinced a publisher to remove two books from circulation! ( the other book is Discipline Them, Love Them by Betty Chase.) I wish that could happen here, but To Train Up A Child in English is self-published by the Pearls.  We are trying to get as many book sellers as possible to stop selling it.  We have convinced quite a few and are still working on Amazon.com.



Black Earth Pastor Gets 2 Years in Prison in Child Abuse Case

Philip Caminiti, pastor of , has been sentenced to 2 years in jail and 6 years probation according to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal.  His lawyer, Yolanda Lehner, appears to be taken aback by the whole thing which she likens to the Spanish Inquisition.

Carri Williams Back In Court

Go Skagit has more info about Carri Williams and the reason for her re-arrest.   Apparently she tried to contact her foster son through a classmate, thereby violating the court’s No Contact Order.   The first anniversary of Hana’s death is coming up on May 12.  All posts about this case can be found here.

Update:  As of May 14, 2012 she is out on bail.

Carri Williams Back in Jail

According to the Skagit Valley Herald and KomoNews , Carri Williams is back behind bars for violating her No Contact Agreement with her adopted son.  For all posts on this story, please see my tag.


Another Abusive School on CNN

Under Much Grace shares the transcripts and video of CNN’s report on Pinehaven Home for Troubled Teens in a 3 part series which starts here.


Pastor Found Guilty of Child Abuse

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Philip Caminiti, the pastor of the Aleitheia Bible Church, was found guilty yesterday, Wednesday March 21, 2012.  This is very important as it will set a precedence that pastors can be held accountable for their abusive advice.


Fox News Continues Their Pearl Coverage

Fox 13 News Salt Lake City reports on the Pearls with a repeat of the Fox Video I shared on Feb 22, but with a new video which I will embed here.  This video features Child Psychologist, Douglas Goldsmith PH.D., who refutes the Pearls’ teachings and recommends instead that parents follow How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

The Pearls Defend Themselves on CBS News

CBS has given the Pearls a chance to defend themselves in this news story.   (If you don’t want to watch the video, most of the tex of t is in the link.)

Investigative Reports on Michael Pearl

Lauren Hensley,  Investigative Reporter for CBS TV Station WVNS West Virginia, brings us Spare the Rod Part 1: Spanking in the Name of the Lord in which she interviews Mr. Pearl.  In Spare the Rod Part 2: Local Pastors Challenge Biblical Backing she interviews local religious leaders about his teachings. Stay tuned for Part 3: The Effects of Corporal Punishment On A Child (tomorrow?).

Jill Monier, of FOX TV in Memphis Tennessee, brings us Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child? which is an in depth look at their book, To Train Up A Child.   It includes some pretty disturbing quotes.  As well as interviewing the Pearls, they interviewed Barbara King, the executive director of the Exchange Club in Memphis which offers a variety of programs to help Memphis area families breaking the cycle of abuse, and Elizabeth Stewart an adult niece who was also switched by the Pearls.

Tom Haynes, of My Fox Atlanta, brings us almost the same story in Investigators Link Book to Deaths of 3 Children.

Also, yesterday, Michael Pearl was on Dr. Drew’s show. Here is an Inside Look at that episode. Note that at the very end, Dr. Drew claims that he is still tender in the spot where Mr. Pearl spanked him.

New Study Puts Spanking In The News

A new study showing that spanking damages children has put spanking back into the news.  This article in the San Francisco Chronicle about this new study mentions Michael Pearl.

Column Warning About Pearl In The Daily Journal

Dorothy Dimitre has a column in The San Mateo Daily Journal about Pearl’s appearance in The Today Show and why spanking is bad for children: ‘Leave no marks!’

Larry Williams Returns to Jail

According to a report in the January 7th, 2012 edition of the Skagit County Herald (only available in print or by paying for the “e-edition”), some of Larry Williams family members delivered Christmas gifts and letters from Larry to four of the children who are fostered by their aunt and uncle. There is a court order in place: Larry and Carri Williams are both prohibited from contacting their spouse or their any of their children. In addition, the judge ordered them not to contact the foster parents.

No-contact order violations can occur if the prohibited party contacts the protected party, or asks a third party to do so on his/her behalf. Apparently Larry felt that it was okay for his mother (a third party) to deliver items to his children. Along with some Christmas gifts were letters to the children. One of them contained modified Bible verses from the book of 2 Timothy, where apparently Larry substituted his name for Apostle Paul’s and his children’s names in the place of Timothy. The prosecutors argued that Larry was “framing himself as a martyr to his children” and the judge told him he had violated the order and raised his bail back up to the original amount of $500,000.  The attorney of Carri Williams successfully argued that she had nothing to do with the gifts or letters, so she was not considered to be in violation of the order.  According to the defense attorney, Larry’s mother “over-stepped her boundaries” and the children were not supposed to know that the gifts were from their father. An inmate roster check at the Skagit County Jail shows that Larry was once again booked into custody.

I do not know the details of the no-contact orders, but in my mind there are two possible explanations for why Larry violated the law: 1) Larry lacks common sense and didn’t know any better; or 2) Larry willfully defied the judge’s orders. Let’s say that the court is okay with Larry showering his children with gifts (in spite of the no-contact order) as long as they don’t know they are from him. I’m seriously doubtful of that theory, but let’s pretend that is the case. So Larry purchases the children some very nice gifts and thinks that as long as his mother delivers them and just says they are from “Santa”, all is good.

But there is a problem. You may be able to explain the gifts away as plain ignorance, but what is the explanation for the letters to the kids where he where he substituted himself in place of Apostle Paul? I certainly don’t think that was an accident. I have not seen the letters and I do not know specifically what they contain, but I believe Larry was attempting to pointedly communicate to his children. It is possible that the verses included in these letters were those that encourage Timothy (the children) to remain “faithful” not only to God, but also to Apostle Paul (Larry) and/or contained verses in which Apostle Paul (Larry) describes that he is being punished for his innocent actions because of religious persecution. I believe that the defendant probably has a very twisted version of reality in which he sees himself as a man who was living in the way that God expected him to, yet  has been wrongfully imprisoned for it.  By substituting himself for Apostle Paul, Larry seems to be stating that he too is a righteous victim of religious persecution and pending martyrdom.

I doubt there is any mention of Hana in these letters, but if Larry’s opinion is the same as his spouse’s, then I believe that it’s fair to conclude that they both think that Hana “killed herself” because she was  “passive-aggressive” and “rebellious”.  As difficult as it is for me to comprehend, Larry and his wife both may really think that the true victim in this case (Hana) perished because she refused to be cooperative or obedient.  Either that, or possibly it is Larry and Carri’s  “cover story” or alibi about what happened to Hana and the other adopted child in their home.

In my opinion, Larry wrote those letters because he wanted his children to believe that he has been wrongly accused, and he was also trying to persuade them to refuse to testify about the abuse they saw inflicted upon Hana and her little brother. If this is the case, it is likely that the children would have felt emotionally torn between telling the truth or protecting their father.  That is an extremely manipulative and unfair thing to do to a child. Does this man think he is entitled to violate the order because mere human laws do not apply to him, because he is obeying a higher law?  Or is he just lacking the common sense to understand the orders that the judge issued to him in a court of law?

At the end of the day and regardless of the reason, Larry defied the court order. He did this by having his mother help him. I cannot say what his mother’s motives were. Perhaps she was completely unaware that her participation would be viewed as a violation and that her son would be sent back to jail. Perhaps she knew it wasn’t “completely” legal, but made a choice to do it anyways because this is her son, and she will always love him, unconditionally.  I am sure the last few months have been terrible for the entire family, and I am sure they are hoping that the accusation of homicide is just one big misunderstanding. Unfortunately, Hana Williams is dead, and her horrific suffering and tragic death make it difficult for most people to believe it was an accident. I hope this family will be able to accept the likely outcome of the trial.

Lastly, I want to applaud the aunt and uncle who refused the gifts and contacted the court to let them know that the order had been violated. They had the courage to come forward and report this to the authorities. I’m sure it was extremely painful, and I’m sure they wished that they didn’t have to do something that would put Larry (who is part of their family as well) back in jail, but they did the right thing. I am so grateful for that. Thank goodness these wonderful and brave people showed us all that there is still hope for truth, honesty and justice in the world.

Motion Denied in the Hana Alemu “Williams” Case

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that a Motion was denied to suppress investigative photos in Hana Williams death case.  The Williams did not give poor Hana any rights to privacy while she was alive and now they claim to want to protect her privacy.  It looks to me like it’s really themselves they want to protect.  I applaud Judge Susan Cook for seeing through their weak arguments.

Schatz Story #1 in the Paradise Post for 2011

The Paradise Post has released their top 10 news stories for 2011 and at the top of the list is the story about the Schatz couple pleading guilty. They mention that they case has remained in the news since.

Pearl has garnered a lot of interest this past year, being on Anderson Cooper (on both CNN and Fox) as well as NBC’s Today Show. It is my hope and prayer that as he gains notoriety, more and more people will see the dangers in his teachings and will avoid them. I also pray that those who continue to see good in his teachings will be more careful not to take them to a dangerous extreme.

I wish you and yours many blessings in the New Year. <3

Text of “To Train Up A Child” Removed

Up until now we have been linking to http://www.achristianhome.org/to_train_up_a_child.htm in order to find the entire content of the book “To Train Up A Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl.  This allowed us to verify quotes and keep them in context.  But now the site owner has removed the text of the book and replaced it with an explanation  of why.

An article in the Los Angeles Times understood her removal to mean that she disavows the book. I don’t get that at all from what she said. It looks to me like she no longer wants to promote the book because she feels that people are misusing it and using her site in order to do so. She says in part.

…I want it to be known that I do not blanketly endorse this book) and thus have removed the content (the text of the book) from this page for this reason alone – so that no one will read excerpts of the book and think they know what the whole context is.

This, frankly confuses me. The excerpts are already out there and it was her text which provided context. Without the context, all that is left are the quotes on other pages and the useless link which provided the proof and the context.

I can totally understand why she would want to distance herself from those teachings yet, she seems to continue to defend them, claiming that people are misconstruing and misusing them.  The best I can conclude is that she agreed with some of the teachings, but not all of them and she has finally realized that not everyone “simply gleaned things in it that were of value.”

QuicksilverQueen has posted the text here.


Pearl on NBC’s Today Show

Michael Pearl and The Spanking Controversy were featured on NBC’s The Today Show this morning.

If anyone is unable to see the video for whatever reason, this article is pretty much a transcript of the show.

Also see this article from NBC which contains most of the story as well as the video clip.

The Los Angeles Times also reports on this story.