Couple convicted in Sedro-Woolley abuse case

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 9 at 7:34 PM

A Skagit County jury found Larry and Carri Williams guilty of manslaughter in the first degree and assault of a child in the first degree. The jury also found Carri Williams guilty of the most severe charge Homicide by Abuse.

The jury couldn't reach a decision on the homicide by abuse for Larry Williams. The judge declared a mistrial on that count.

The judge also ordered that Carri Williams be held on $1.5 million bail while awaits sentencing.

The case against Larry and Carri Williams went to the jury Friday in Mount Vernon.

Hana Williams died in the back yard of the family home in May 2011 of hypothermia and malnutrition. Prosecutors say she was starved, beaten and forced outside as punishment.

Defense lawyers argued that questionable parenting practices don't necessarily amount to a crime.

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. 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.

Hana Williams was adopted in 2008.

The Williams also are charged with first-degree child assault, for allegedly abusing their son who also was adopted in 2008 from Ethiopia.

Defense lawyers argued that questionable parenting practices don't necessarily amount to a crime.

Carri Williams faces a maximum of 37 years in prison, her husband a maximum of just under 19 years. Sentencing is expected in mid-October.
 

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