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
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 children
Shaming: 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.
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
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 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 trial, Larry 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 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
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.
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 Hana
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
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook