All testimony was competed today in the trial of Larry and Carri Williams. The jurors were excused at around 2:30, and told to report back next Wednesday, September 4, at 9am. Judge Susan Cook will give them instructions: what the charges are, what the jurors’ rights and responsibilities are as they deliberate. There will also be closing arguments by both the defense and the prosecution. No one knows how long the jury will take to decide on a verdict.
Today’s testimony began with Dr. Kathleen Taylor, a forensic anthropologist, who had previously provided testimony about Hana’s age, based on Dr. Taylor’s examination of Hana’s x-rays. She was called by the prosecution largely in response to yesterday’s testimony by defense witness Dr. Jordan Haber. Dr. Taylor estimated Hana’s age as between 13 and 17. She magnified the x-rays to see the details of the bones, the trochanter, and the epiphysis. “Magnifying doesn’t alter the image,” she said, in contrast to Dr. Haber’s position, which was that magnifying the images is not the way radiologists determine bone age. Why would you magnify an x-ray, asked the prosecutor. “To see in better detail what you’re looking at,” said Dr. Taylor.
Ms. Trueblood, the defense attorney, noted that Dr. Taylor is a Ph.D., and not a medical doctor nor a radiologist. There was brief discussion about the books that Taylor and Haber had consulted for their estimations.
The cross-examination of Carri Williams then began again. The prosecuting attorney Rosemary Kaholakula started by presenting Carri with multiple photos, asking if she recognized them. “That is my daughter Hana and my son Immanuel.” “That is my daughter Hana.”
Carri: “That is a photo of my beautiful children, whom you ripped apart.”
Attorney: “I didn’t. Hana died, in your back yard.”
Carri: “Hana passed away.”
Later, in questions about the night Hana died, Carri said “I believe she unintentionally killed herself,” and “I believe she did this to herself.”
During a break, the judge had to caution the spectators in the courtroom not to make any sounds, as there had been a fair amount of muffled sighs and crying, while Carri was testifying. Carri herself wept several times.
Larry had suggested the Port-A-Potty and Carri agreed. Hana was the only one who used it, until she died, and it is still outside the barn for use by others. They thought she would only use it for a day or two.
At first, Hana was quiet, polite, very bright, and not completely cooperative, according to Carri. After about a year and a half after she arrived in Washington State, Hana’s “real personality came out,” the rebellious nature she’d apparently been hiding until then. Carri did not seek any help from the adoption agency or from any professionals for this rebelliousness.
The outdoor shower was not, Carri said, called an outdoor shower. It was a piece of wood over which the garden hose could be placed. Larry dug the hole for the post. (Larry testified he’d had nothing to do with it.) Hana took quick showers, Carri noted: “4 minutes.” Was the water cold outside? “Yes.”
About not going to the doctor after 2009: “Hana was the healthiest of my children,” said Carri. There was no need to go to a doctor.
About Immanuel’s behavioral problems: Carri said Immanuel failed to say thank you “properly” at the table, didn’t respond to stomping that was meant to get his attention, and changed a correct math answer to a wrong one. Of his wetting himself, she said he did it on purpose: he told her that. She didn’t take him to a doctor because it wasn’t a medical problem.
About Hana’s behavioral problems: She lied and stole. She didn’t steal just any food, Carri said. She stole junk food: sweets. She also wrote capital letters in the middle of words, and didn’t stand or sit exactly where she was told.
Hana was locked in the shower room and other places to keep her from stealing junk food, which Carri said she was “hoarding and gorging.” (Maureen: This is not at all unusual behavior of children who have been institutionalized, or otherwise had food limited. It made me wonder—yet again—how much Carri understood about the behaviors of internationally adopted children. There are lots of strategies for dealing with this sort of behavior, none of which involve locking a child in a closet.)
There is, as always, more to say. And I will do so, tomorrow. I am sure Gina Cole of the Skagit Valley Herald will post an update tonight, and KIRO-TV has been updating every day as well. I have very limited Internet where I am right now, so will post this, and then post more tomorrow.
Many thanks to all those of you who have offered kind words and gratitude to me for my posts. We are all here for Hana, in our own ways.
Justice for Hana, justice for Immanuel.