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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

Hana and The Pearls in The Seattle Times

Jeff Hodson of the Seattle Times provides extensive coverage of the death of Hana Alemu “Williams” as well as the Pearls’ teachings in Did Hana’s parents ‘train’ her to death?  I am grateful to see  this blog mentioned and linked to  in this article.  Letters to the editor regarding that article are here.