Hana’s parents broke down in tears as they get maximum sentences (+video)

  • Larry 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
  • Step-brother Immanuel testified he and Hana were beaten with sticks, hosed down, forced to eat frozen food and locked in closets
  • Larry accusing his wife of being the ‘primary actor’ in the abuse

By DAILY MAIL REPORTERS

PUBLISHED: 20:59 GMT, 29 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:18 GMT, 30 October 2013

A Washington couple accused of starving, beating and forcing their adopted daughter to stay outside as punishment have been sentenced to spend decades in prison for her death.

Larry and Carri Williams were convicted on September 9 and sentenced on Tuesday for the manslaughter in the death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia.

Carri Williams was also found guilty of homicide by abuse.

Hana Williams was found dead May 12, 2011, in the backyard of the family home in Sedro-Woolley, about 60 miles north of Seattle.

Sentenced: Cari Williams (left) faces just under 37 years behind bars and her husband Larry (right) was sentenced to just under 28 years for their abuse of their adoptive daughter
Sentenced: Cari Williams (left) faces just under 37 years behind bars and her husband Larry (right) was sentenced to just under 28 years for their abuse of their adoptive daughter

Sentenced: Cari Williams (left) faces just under 37 years behind bars and her husband Larry (right) was sentenced to just under 28 years for their abuse of their adoptive daughter

 

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

Hana Williams was found frozen and starved to death in the yard of her adoptive parents’ Washington home in 2011. They were given maximum sentences today for causing her death

 

The autopsy said she died of hypothermia, with malnutrition and a stomach condition as contributing factors.

Carri Williams was sentenced Tuesday to just under 37 years, the top of the standard sentencing range, by Judge Susan Cook who said she probably deserved more time in prison, the Skagit Valley Herald reported. Her husband received a sentence of nearly 28 years.

Cook vacated Carri Williams’ manslaughter conviction because she was convicted of homicide by abuse for the same conduct.

Both also were found guilty of assault of a child for punishing a boy they adopted in 2008 from Ethiopia at the same time as Hana.

Carted away: During the trial, Larry Williams turned on his wife Carri and said that she was the main force behind the abuse of their adopted childrenCarted away: During the trial, Larry Williams turned on his wife Carri and said that she was the main force behind the abuse of their adopted children

 

Shaming: The judge spoke out against the couple, saying that they deserved more than the maximum sentencesShaming: The judge spoke out against the couple, saying that they deserved more than the maximum sentences

 

Both appeared in court in red jail uniforms and were led away in handcuffs after the sentencing.

The boy from Ethiopia testified that the parents used sticks or belts to beat him all over his body as punishment.

He also described being sprayed with a water hose if he wet his pants.

After the arrests, the boy and six biological children were placed in foster care or with relatives.

The courtroom was filled with many Ethiopians and nine of the jurors who convicted Larry and Carri Williams after a seven-week trial in Skagit County Superior Court.

VIDEO  Community remember Hana in film which includes abusive mother‘s chilling words

 

Abusing mother speaks as community pray for tragic Hana

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

Hana, pictured second left, seen as a young girl with her family back in Ethiopia Angelic: Hana, pictured second left, seen as a young girl with her family back in Ethiopia

 

Cause of death: An autopsy showed that the 13-year-old died from hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition and gastritis Cause of death: An autopsy showed that the 13-year-old died from hypothermia exacerbated by malnutrition and gastritis

Defense lawyers told jurors that questionable parenting practices didn’t necessarily amount to a crime.

On the rainy night Hana died, Carri Williams called 911 and reported Hana was not breathing, saying the girl had refused to come into the house.

Hana was found face-down in the backyard with mud in her mouth.

Hana 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.

Manslaughter: Larry Williams (left) was sentenced to 28 years and Carri Williams to 37 years after being found 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 abuseDragged away: Carri Williams is taken into custody last month after a jury deemed her guilty of the 2011 death of her daughter. She was also found guilty of homicide by abuse

 

Tests on her teeth and bones gave varying estimates, and experts were unable to agree on her age. Her age was significant because the homicide by abuse charge applies only if the victim was younger than 16.

During the trialLarry Williams turned on his wife and blamed her for the child’s death.

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 parentsLingering 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

Mr Williams said through his attorney that his wife should spend decades in jail because ‘she was the primary actor’ in all of the treatment of Hana and Immanuel, the Ethiopian boy.

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.

The testimony from foster mother Sheila Jackson came on day 18 of the Williams murder trial.

Jackson, 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.

‘He ate fast. He ate a lot. He ate more than I expected,’ she told on the stand, the station KIRO-TV reported.

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. After the arrests, Immanuel and six biological children were placed in foster care or with relatives.

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.

Tough disciplinarians: Hana and her adoptive brother were allegedly spanked, hit with sticks, hosed down and forced to eat frozen food Tough disciplinarians: Hana and her adoptive brother were allegedly spanked, hit with sticks, hosed down and forced to eat frozen food

As punishment for bad behavior, the teen told the court that he and his step-sister were fed frozen meals, hosed down and forced to sleep in closets, where they would listen to recordings of the Bible on tape and Christian music.

The defense has attempted to paint Immanuel as a disobedient boy with an attitude problem.

The 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.

Williams
Williams
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

In 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.

‘I would suffer with the pain until it eventually went away,’ he said in sign language July 29.

Larry’s 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.

While 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.

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 HanaGuilty: 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 Hana

 

Wicked: Carri Williams cries during her trial. She was convicted of homicide by abuse in addition to manslaughter Wicked: Carri Williams cries during her trial. She was convicted of homicide by abuse in addition to manslaughter

According to Joseph Williams, however, he and his siblings were given the authority to punish and even spank their adopted brother and sister, KIRO-TV reported.

Joseph was called to the stand to describe the night of May 12, 2011, when his 13-year-old adopted sister died.

Joseph 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.’

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.

Calling 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.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2479174/Hana-Williams-adoptive-parents-Larry-Carri-Williams-maximum-sentences.html#ixzz2jGNBlk6f
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6 Responses to Hana’s parents broke down in tears as they get maximum sentences (+video)

  1. bogale Reply

    October 31, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    GOD BLESS AMERICA.I was so sad whenn i heared that bad news about Hana ,but now i am very happy to hear this sentences from the judge. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  2. Lemma Berhe Reply

    October 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Let them rot in jail. If they didn’t want her why they wanted to adopt her. To be abused? She had been late down by the authorities. These people are not allowed to adopt a child in America, why they got a green light to go to Ethiopia and to adopt her? She shouldn’t be named in their family name even after she died.

  3. sol Reply

    October 31, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    በውነቱ በጣም የሚአሳዝን ነገር ነው ነፍሳን ይማር

  4. Haregwein Sileshi Reply

    November 1, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Now what?
    Why the change of heart?
    Traveled all the way…across the waves of the sea
    From the inception-to the adoption
    To rescue children from poverty?
    Were you in the spirit of kindness?
    What was going in your mind?
    When you go through the process of adopting these two kids?
    The ups and downs of immigration
    The agonizing waiting period—filled with anticipation.
    How can you change to no return…. just like that?
    Why did you cross the sea only to harden your heart?
    Starving them?
    Starving them?
    Starving them?
    Visibly gaunt-bones and skins
    Like a caged animals of the wilderness
    Starved and frightened
    Feeding them frozen food?
    What were you thinking my dear?
    Where did your heart melt away?
    The one who dared to travel all the way!
    Where did your extended arms-go?
    The one who gave Hanna and Immanuel motherly hugs
    What had happened to the sacred promise you entered
    When you first saw them… looking through their eyes.
    Children…abandoned…orphaned
    To love, protect and cherish
    To give and relish
    Certainly NOT to punish…
    As your own blood and flesh!
    Now what???
    Hanna lost her precious life
    Your kids lost their parents
    Immanuel lost his beloved sister…
    He is traumatized
    Scarred————— for life!
    Now what??? Mr. and Mrs. Williams…
    Finger pointing at each other
    When the situation is dire…
    When things got serious…
    What were you thinking then?
    Continues and persistent abuse
    For hours and days..…
    Abandoning your parental responsibility
    Killing ALL of them softly….
    DELIBERATELY
    Incomprehensive evil deed…
    Punishing children feeding them frozen food!
    Cold—frigid
    In your household and out
    You were determined
    To destroy innocent child—slammed the door behind.
    Your eyes merciless…your heart cold—filled with hate!
    Now what?
    Hannah was found curled up to beat the frigid weather to skip from the cold
    Now what! Now what…it is just too late…!
    Mr. and Mrs. Williams…
    Now what?
    Haregwein Sileshi-2013

  5. Tesfa Reply

    November 4, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Thank you for the insightful poem! We need more of your kind to jerk us back to our senses when we go adrift.

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