| blaquefoxx wrote:|
Adoptive parents of Ethiopian girl who died of hypothermia and starvation in their backyard found GUILTY of manslaughter
and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Washington were found guilty of
neglecting, abusing, and ultimately killing 13-year-old Hana Williams
- The couple left Hana to die from hypothermia and starvation in their backyard in May 2011
Immanuel testified he and Hana were beaten with sticks, hosed down,
forced to eat frozen food and locked in closets as punishment
and Daily Mail Reporter
20:22 EST, 9 September 2013
02:56 EST, 10 September 2013
A Washington state couple were
convicted of manslaughter Monday in the gruesome starvation and
hypothermia death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia.
jury found Larry Williams, of Sedro-Woolley, guilty of first-degree
manslaughter, while his wife, Carri Williams, was found guilty of
homicide by abuse as well as manslaughter. The jury also convicted them
both of assault and each faces a possible life sentence.
Williams died in May 2011 in the backyard of the couple's home, where
she was forced to stay as part of a strict system of child-rearing
outlined in a Christian parenting book.
Manslaughter: Larry (left) and Carri Williams
react in a Washington court Monday as a jury read their guilty verdict.
The couple were guilty of manslaughter in the death of their 13-year-old
Ethiopian adopted daughter
Dragged away: Carri Williams is taken into
custody after a jury deemed her guilty of the 2011 death of her
daughter. She was also found guilty of homicide by abuse
Happier times: Hana Williams, seen in this
undated photo looking healthy, was found frozen and starved to death in
the yard of her adoptive parents' home in 2011
An autopsy showed that Hana died of hypothermia that was aggravated by chronic gastritis and malnutrition.
Her bone-thin body was covered in
bruises, including a lump on her shaved head, and red bloody markings on her
hips, elbows and face.
Defense lawyers argued that questionable parenting practices don't necessarily amount to a crime.
is believed to have been 13, but no documentation of her birth in
Ethiopia was available. The trial was postponed several times and her
body was exhumed in January.
jury began deliberating last week. On Monday, they announced their
decision to convict both the Williams' of first degree manslaughter.
The class A felonies can mean life in prison and/or $50,000 fines, according to the Skagit Valley Herald.
jury was unable to decide if Larry Williams was guilty of homicide by
abuse. In the end, only Carri Williams was convicted on that charge.
Both Larry and Carri were also convicted of first degree assault on Hana's adopted brother Immanuel.
Tests on Hana's teeth and bones gave varying
estimates and experts were unable to agree on her age.
age was significant because the homicide by abuse charge applies only
if the victim was younger than 16, though experts were unable to say for
sure if she was or was not.
She was adopted in 2008.
Guilty: Larry Williams listens in Skagit County
court days before a jury found him and wife Carri guilty of neglecting
and ultimately killing their adopted Ethiopian daughter Ana
Wicked: Carri Williams cries during her trial.
She was convicted Monday of homicide by abuse in addition to
manslaughter and could face life in prison for killing her 13-year-old
adoptive daughter by starvation and neglect
A foster mother testified during the trial that the couple's other adopted son Immanuel
was rail-thin and covered in scratches when she took him in.
testimony from Sheila Jackson came on day 18 of the Williams murder trial.
couple left their 13-year-old Hana, to
starve and die in the cold after brutally punishing her and
her step-brother, Immanuel.
who is deaf, told the jury in a Mount Vernon courtroom that when the
Williamses’ son Immanuel, who was also adopted from Ethiopia, came to
live with her, she could barely keep up with his demands for food.
Remorseful? Williams is pictured here testifying
for his defense in August. The Washington man and his wife were both
found guilty of first degree manslaughter and both face a possible life
Extreme: The deeply religious couple are
believed to have been following an extreme form of Christian parenting
outlined in the book To Train a Child
'He ate fast. He ate a lot. He ate more than I expected,' she told on the stand, the station KIRO-TV reported
Following the couple's arrest, Child Protective Services removed Immanuel and seven other children from their home.
Sheila Jackson said the boy was terrified to talk about his adoptive parents.
Wasting away: Hana, pictured left sometime after
her arrival in the U.S., lost nearly 30lbs between 2009 and 2011, and
had her head shaven when she was found dead in the backyard
Angelic: Hana, pictured second left, seen as a young girl with her family back in Ethiopia
According to the foster
mother, the child was so emaciated that his ribs were showing through
his skin covered in markings from past beatings.
Immanuel, now 12 years old, testified during the trial that the Williamses beat him and Hana with belts and switches.
Lingering fear: Foster mother Sheila Jackson,
who took in Immanuel after the Williamses' arrest, said the boy was very
thin, always hungry and terrified to talk about his adoptive parents
The parents kept the family
isolated from non-relatives, home-schooled the children and followed
strict religious principles described in the Christian parenting book
titled ‘To Train Up a Child,’ investigators said.
punishment for bad behaviour, the teen told the court that he and his
step-sister were fed frozen meals, hosed down (Jim Crow spirit must have crept in them) and forced to sleep in
closets, where they would listen to recordings of the Bible on tape and
The defense has attempted to paint Immanuel as a disobedient boy with an attitude problem.
lawyers for the couple said Immanuel hit and bit Jackson’s daughter so
badly that her teacher ended up calling CPS after the child came to
school with bruises.
Sheila Jackson said that Immanuel has been getting counselling and his behaviour has been improving.
2008, Immanuel was 7 years old when the American couple, both devout
Christians, adopted him and Hana from Ethiopia. Larry worked at Boeing
while his wife was a stay-at-home mom home-schooling the two adopted
kids and their seven biological children.
his testimony, the 12-year-old told the court that his adopted parents
would beat him with a stick until blood was running down his face.
disciplinary measures included having Immanuel hosed down in the yard
for bed-wetting and keeping him and Hana outside in the cold.
Tough disciplinarians: Hana and her adoptive
brother were allegedly spanked, hit with sticks, hosed down and forced
to eat frozen food
Cruel death: Hana's emaciated body covered in
bruises was found face down in the mud in the backyard of the family's
home in Sedro-Woolley, Washington
Cause of death: An autopsy showed that the 13-year-old died from hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition and gastritis
'I would suffer with the pain until it eventually went away,' he said in sign language July 29.
attorney, Rachel Forde, characterized the Ethiopian boy as a
troublemaker who lied to his adoptive parents and refused to do lessons
assigned by his mother.
the couple's biological children, five of whom had testified during the
trial, were generally treated better, the strict rules in the Williams
household applied to them as well.
to Joseph Williams, however, he and his siblings were given the
authority to punish and even spank their adopted brother and sister,
Joseph was called to the stand to describe the night of May 12, 2011, when his 13-year-old adopted sister died.
Williams told the court that after Hana died while sitting in the yard
in 40-degree weather, his mother instructed him to bring the girl's body
inside, where she performed CPR and called 911.
The mother of nine said on the call that her daughter Hana 'has killed herself.'
Blaming the victim: On a 911 call after Hana's
death, Carri Williams (left) told the dispatcher that her 'rebellious'
adopted daughter had killed herself by throwing herself down to the
ground and refusing to come indoors
When asked by the 911
dispatcher why she believed her daughter had taken her own life,
Williams said that the girl was not breathing and lying face down in the
mud after refusing to come indoors, according to the Seattle Times.
Hana 'rebellious,' the mother said that she had seen the 13-year-old
throwing herself to the ground and staggering about the yard after
taking her clothes off.
A local weather station reported that the temperature that night was 42 degrees.
responders arrived just after midnight and rushed Hana to Skagit Valley
Hospital, where she was pronounced dead an hour later.
autopsy report concluded that the girl died from hypothermia, with
malnutrition and chronic gastritis as contributing factors. According to
the girl’s medical records, between 2009 and 2011, she had lost nearly
30lbs and was short for her age.
and Carri Williams were arrested September 29, 2011, on charges of
homicide by abuse in connection with their daughter's death, and
first-degree assault of a child stemming from mistreatment of Immanuel.
If convicted, each faces a prison term of between 20 and 29 years, according to state sentencing guidelines.