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Williams Trial: Mother guilty on 3 counts, father on 2


Williams Trial: Mother guilty on 3 counts, father on 2

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013 3:53 pm | Updated: 4:52 pm, Mon Sep 9, 2013.

By Gina Cole

MOUNT VERNON — A jury has found Carri Williams guilty of all charges in the homicide and abuse trial involving the death of a young teenage girl she and her husband adopted and assault of their adopted son.

Her husband, Larry Williams, was found guilty of manslaughter and assault of a child. The jury was unable to agree on whether Larry was guilty of homicide by abuse.

The jury started deliberating this past Thursday after the seven-week trial of Larry and Carri Williams, whose parenting practices were called into question after Hana Williams died in May 2011 after collapsing in the family's backyard home in the Sedro-Woolley area.

An autopsy showed she died of hypothermia hastened by malnutrition and a stomach condition.

The Williamses were charged with homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter in the death of Hana and first-degree assault of the younger boy they adopted at the same time as Hana. Both were adopted from Ethiopia.

A key question in the trial has been Hana’s age, which was not officially documented. The charge of homicide by abuse applies only if she was younger than 16 when she died. Her adoption paperwork indicates she would have been about 13 at the time, but her parents have said they thought she was older.

Various experts who examined her body were unable to definitively place her age below 16.

Each charge is a Class A felony, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. Judge Susan Cook has final say on sentencing.

Spectators have filled the courtroom benches most days of the trial, including friends of the Williamses and members of Seattle’s Ethiopian community, who sat on the prosecutors’ side in silent support of Hana.

2013 Sep 9