Skagit County couple charged with death of adopted child

Print
Email
|

by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 30 at 5:44 PM

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- The parents of 13-year-old Hana Williams are in custody Thursday evening accused of starving their daughter and keeping her locked outside. 

Hana Williams was found dead in her backyard on May 12, naked and wrapped in a sheet. She had been living with her adoptive parents since coming to America from Ethiopia in 2008.  After months of investigation, her adopted parents are now charged in connection with her death.

Skagit County Prosecutor Richard Weyrich said Hana Williams's death ranks right up there for one of the worst cases he's ever prosecuted.  Larry and Carri Williams were inside the Skagit County jail Thursday, charged with homicide by abuse.

In the charging documents, Carri Williams talked about how much she disliked her two adopted Ethiopian children.  A 10-year-old boy and Hana.

"She died of hypothermia and you know part of that is having lost so much weight over the past year, months...she had lost 30 pounds," Weyrich said.

According to charging documents, Carri and Larry Williams starved Hana for days, put her in a locked closet, shower room and forced her to sleep outside in the barn in the cold.  She wasn't allowed to use the bathroom in the house, instead a porta-potty behind the barn.  In addition, Hana was struck daily with a plumbing tool, a tube with a round ball on the end.

"The constant striking and not speaking to her would have different effects on a person," said Weyrich.

Specifically, last Christmas when Hanna was forced to watch the family celebrate Christmas from outside and only let in when her parents had guests.

All of the William's biological children and adopted son have been removed from the home.  In the documents, a book entitled "To Train a Child Up," was referenced.  Weyrich says it includes punishment techniques the Williams' mimicked.  There have been other child abuse cases linked to the book across the country.  The Williams' are being held on $500,000 bond.

KING 5's Natasha Ryan and Jake Whittenberg contributed to this report.  

Probable Cause

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the victim's first name. The copy above has been fixed.

Print
Email
|