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 – 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.

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.

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 20: Testimony of Williams Family Friend

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

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

 

Williams Trial – Day 19: More Forensic Dentistry

 

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

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

Here is the story in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Here is the story from KiroTV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here is the story from KiroTV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maureen has a poignant post about Hana’s hair.

Williams Trial – Day 9: Testimony of Williams Son

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

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

Here is the story on KiroTV.

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

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

Williams Trial – Day 7: Testimony of Williams Daughter

Today, Monday, August 5, 2013, two of the Williams’ biological daughters testified according to the Skagit Valley Herald.  One of them testified that the biological children were punished the same way as the adopted children were and that she never saw marks on their bodies from the spankings.  The girls confirmed many of the details from prior witnesses testimonies.  Since these children were trained to always tell the truth and to obey adults, I tend to believe what they say.  Or at least, I believe that they believe everything they say…

The trial adjourned early so one of the jurors could go to the doctor according to the Skagit Valley Herald.

Here the article from KiroTV which has more (disturbing) information and video.  In this report, they mention To Train Up A Child.

Maureen can no longer attend the trial as she is on vacation.   I will miss her insights but I am happy that she is taking a well deserved break from this.

If you want up to the minute Tweets about the trial, you will want to follow Gina Cole of the Skagit Valley Herald.

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 3: Autopsy Testimony

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

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

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

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

Here is the article from the Skagit Valley Herald.

 

 

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

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

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