Mom accused in daughter's abuse death is back in jail

Date: 2012-04-20
Source: KOMO News

Mom accused in daughter's abuse death is back in jail
By KOMO Staff Published: Apr 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM PST Last Updated: Apr 20, 2012 at 4:16 PM PST

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - A mother accused of abusing and starving her 13-year-old daughter to death is back in jail after she violated a no-contact order with one of her other children, the Skagit County Prosecutor's Office said.

Carri Williams of Sedro Woolley was arrested Thursday after allegedly violating a court order prohibiting her from contacting her son. She is now being held on $300,000 bail.

She was initially arrested in 2011, along with her husband Larry, after the couple's adopted daughter Hana was found dead - naked, in her own backyard - after spending much of a cold, rainy day outside as punishment, according to court documents.

Carri and Larry Williams were later released from jail after posting bail, and they were under strict orders not to contact their other children. But Larry was re-arrested in January after violating the no-contact order, and Carri was re-arrested late Thursday.

The couple is charged with homicide by abuse in Hana's death. They also were charged with first-degree child assault for the alleged abuse of their younger adopted son. It was this son that Carri Williams was trying to contact, the prosecutor said.

Hana died of hypothermia in May 2011 after she was systematically starved, beaten, forced to use an outdoor toilet and sometimes locked in a dark closet for days by the Williams, according to court documents.

Hana Williams

Hana had been adopted from Ethiopia in 2008 as a diseased little girl to begin a new life with her new parents in America. Instead, she was beaten, starved, forced to sleep in a barn at times and deprived of love and basic necessities, court documents say.

Although she died of hypothermia, there were other contributing causes to her death, including severe malnutrition and chronic gastritis, doctors said.

The Williams' other children told investigators that Hana sometimes was beaten with a switch for standing more than 12 inches away from where she was told to stand or for speaking without permission.

But in the 911 call she made after her daughter's death, Carri Williams claimed it was the girl's own rebellious and self-destructive attitude that led to her death.

"Yes, I think my daughter killed herself," Carri Williams told the 911 operator.

When asked why she thought that was the case, Williams answered, "She's really rebellious and she's been outside, refusing to come in. And she's been throwing herself all around, and then she collapsed."

A witness told investigators that the Williams got their ideas for the disciplinary measures from a book, "To Train Up Your Child," which recommends switchings with a plumbing tool, cold water baths, withholding food and putting children out in cold weather as forms of punishment, court documents say.


According to an article in

According to an article in the Skagit Valley Herald, Hana’s body has been exhumed and the investigation of her remains has begun. The linked article discusses how the prosecution tried to have the expert for the defense barred from the investigation over some comments he made to the medical examiners,

Thanks for the linking update...

The comments relate to the following:

Doctors were scheduled to perform an X-ray and pull two of her teeth in the King County Medical Examiner’s office on Friday. Defense expert and forensic pathologist Carl Wigren was to observe the tooth extraction.

However, Chief Medical Examiner Richard Harruff alerted Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich via email Tuesday of what he called offensive and threatening comments Wigren made about guns and a fellow case investigator on a medical examiners’ Listserv.

As a result, Harruff requested Wigren not be allowed in the medical examiner’s office Friday, writing that “Dr. Wigren has shown such disregard for polite behavior.”

The comments in question included support for retaining gun rights and a joke that he almost put a gun to his head today after working with a fellow examiner who extracted portions of Hana’s organs as part of the investigation.

Larry Williams’ defense attorney Rachel Forde dismissed Weyrich’s motion to bar Wigren, observing the investigation as “absurd.”

Judge Susan Cook ruled that Wigren will be allowed to observe Friday’s proceedings, but not be in the room or participate.

[From:  Prosecutors take issue with defense expert in Williams case, January 17, 2013 ]

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