- No verdict on Homicide by abuse (jury unable to agree)
- Guilty of Manslaughter in the 1st degree
- Guilty of Assault of a Child in the 1st degree
- Guilty of Homicide by Abuse
- Guilty of Manslaughter in the 1st degree
- Guilty of Assault of a Child in the 1st degree
JUSTICE FOR HANA, JUSTICE FOR IMMANUEL.
The jury has been excused. Carri Williams has been taken into custody, and held on $1.5 million bail, awaiting sentencing. Larry will likely remain in custody, pending sentencing. Larry’s bail is set at $750,000. Sentencing is expected to take place in early October.
As to the Williams’ children, my guess is that (with the exception of Immanuel) there will be Dependency Court hearings to determine which children will go with which relatives, since both parents will be in jail, likely for decades. My guess is that parental rights will be terminated in regard to Immanuel, who could then be adopted by another family.
Pingback: A Convergence of Concern Around Seattle’s Ethiopian Adoptees | Light of Day Stories
I’m biting my tongue, I don’t want to offend anyone. However I’ll say this, the bible has brought more people pain, torture, abuse, rape, oppression, and death than joy and miracles for thousands of years. Immanuel (sp?), if someone reads this blog to you some day, or you obtain an iPad with Braille built into the interface (it exists), there are many people who know you are on the cusp of great things! My parents were married by a blind judge who to this day resides in the district court in Chicago, IL. Perhaps practicing law will be your calling. Whatever you choose, I am confident you will excel and have so much to offer others!
We didn’t attend Larry and Carri’s trial but were grateful for your even-keeled and informative posts, Maureen, as they were a good source of information from the trial. The details of this trial were shocking, tragic and very difficult to hear on many levels. We pray for Immanuel and for the Williams children and also for the extended family members who have so graciously taken them in as their own. As it relates to Larry and Carri, they are also in our prayers. We are sure they did not set out to commit crimes of any kind but rather got caught up on a slippery slope and wrongly failed to turn back. In no way (NO way) am I condoning corporal punishment, as I’m VERY much against it, but I do believe in my heart that if Larry and Carri had it to do over, they would do it very differently. Good can come from every situation, and I pray that all affected by this tragedy, Larry and Carri included, will use it to help others in some way. Thanks again, Maureen, for your factual and sympathetic ‘reporting.’
Thank you. I can only imagine what a rough road this has been for all family members: lots of “what if’s” and “If only’s”. It’s heartbreaking. I share your hope that good will come from this tragedy as well, and wish healing for all the children.
I know that you are a family member and may have inside information to the character of these 2 individuals. However, I believe that when they treated this child and her brother like “animals” for two years, they knew exactly what they were doing. The day that Hana died, one of the children was reported as stating that gathered a the window so that they could laugh when Hana begin to stumble and fall down. This family had no regard for these 2 poor defenseless children and targeted their abuse toward them only. This makes me know that knew right from wrong. I believe if they had it to do over, they would tortue her right up until the point of death so they could ensure they would not get caught.
I agree. If they had to do it over they would have tortured them but not allowed Hana to “kill herself”. They would only push her to the brink of death. I think they would coach their children to lie about the abuse and they would do a better job of hiding any evidence of the torture in case one of the kids did die. Larry might have reservations but I think he was no match for Carri and would back down as soon as she barked at him.
I would not want Larry and Carri helping anyone. Just keep them the H*ll away from society. I just hope their own children get the help they need to become loving happy people.
I cried. This whole situation was so tragic and unnecessary….my only joy out of all of this is that Immanuel is in a good place filled with love, compassion and understanding….
Thank you Maureen.
My heart is with yours, Tegan. Thank you.
I’m going to respond to some individual comments tomorrow. Just want to say that I welcome comments, and ask that they be respectful of others. Not necessarily a bad thing to pause and review before hitting “Send.” (Or its equivalent here lol.) Many thanks.
Maureen, I understand that both defenseattorneys plan to appeal the verdicts . Do you have any idea how that works? After such a long, emotional trial it doesn’t seem to make much sense that appealing would be an option. Who makes that decision?
I’m not a lawyer and I didn’t follow this trial from the beginning. I don’t know what efforts the defense attorneys made to prevent both defendants from being tried together with the same jury. If they had separate trials, when one parent threw the other under the bus, the other parent would stay under the bus. There would be no reason for Larry to testify at Carri’s trial and vice versa and they could have invoked spousal privilege. I also don’t know what plea deal they were originally offered if any but they are probably kicking themselves now.
As I understand it, and I am not a lawyer, one of the strong parts of our legal system is appeals after guilty verdicts. My guess is that Larry’s lawyers will appeal, since they have been very public about claiming his innocence, that he wasn’t there the night Hana died, and that Larry testified in court that most of the decisions around “discipline” were Carri’s. Carri’s lawyers may well appeal also; they have been lower profile. Larry’s public defenders were from Snohomish County. Carri’s were from Skagit County. This case was the longest trial ever in Skagit County, and surely the most expensive. Throughout the trial, I feel sure the judge and the lawyers were alert for anything that could cause the verdict to be overturned, including if/when the case went to an appeals court. I’d welcome anyone else commenting on this, especially anyone with a legal background.
Thank you for your insight again, Maureen. I truly hope that it is not possible for any of the verdicts to be overturned. Larry’s attorney made me particularly angry. First she badgers Immanuel on the stand, when he has already been terribly abused and traumatized. Then she complains about how “unjust” it is that they were found guilty?!? Does she honestly feel that this was an “accident”??? HOW DOES SHE SLEEP AT NIGHT? ?
I wanted to add one more thing…Rest in the arms of the angels, Hanna, and may you have peace now, Immanuel. You have a new life ahead of you with a family who truly loves you.
Brbur2424, your comments make me really sad. Don’t be so quick to denounce large families who have faith in God and home school their children. I know many large families in the Christian community and the Jewish community who love their children beyond words and would never resort to the cruelty that Carri and Larry Williams did. They are just as disgusted and heartbroken about what happened to Hanna and Immanuel as you are. Jesus said it would be better that a person had never been born than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. I think that about sums it up what the Bible has to say about abusing children. Tha That having
I don’t have a problem with large families. The quiverful movement is about breading an army to fight the culture war of the parents. That is not an ideal situation to be born into.The sole purpose is to be a drone weapon in the parents arsenal. It is also a radical social experiment. Many of these parents were not isolated, they went to public schools and they were not subject to daily beatings with plumbing line for not looking cheerful..
I’m sure there are parents of large families who homeschool and don’t parent according to the Pearls methods and don’t try to isolate their children. Some homeschooling parents seek online resources and outside help to homeschool. I think arrogance drives some people to believe that they can, all by themselves, provide a better quality education than trained teachers. It’s easy when the child is six but not so easy when the child should be learning things the parents can’t even fathom or have forgotten.
Clearly Carri was not qualified to teach anyone. She used physical punishments when the kids made error on their homework. Sadam Husein used to torture the Olympic athletes who performed poorly in their sport. Amazingly torture is not a good motivator to improve performance. Imanual was punished for not liking school. Maybe if she had sent him to public school, they could have enjoyed fun family time together instead of mixing family time with school.
I have no doubt that Carri loved her children dearly. In the end she despised the two adopted children but she loved the bio children. It was out of love of them that she isolated them, talked to them about demons, and beat them with pluming line.
Just like moderate Muslims are asked to renounce terrorism, good homeschooling parents should renounce the Pearl method and social isolation of children.
If I am not mistaken, the Jesus quote you reference was the rationalization, homeschooling mom Andrea Yates used to drown her five children in a bathtub.
Take what Jesus said in the spirit He said it, not in the way a sick human being used it.
I think we can all agree that justice has been served and be glad that now Immanuel will have a better life.
I love your comment about what the bible says about hurting children. God and Jesus is about love and Williams are about hate and bitterness. The fact that they referred to themselves as Christians doesn’t make them Christians.
The penalty for these class A felonies include up to life in prison and/OR $50,000 fine. That hardly seems equivalent.
I have been following this story since it came to light and I am so relieved that the jury made the right decision regarding Larry and Carri Williams. Justice for Hana……..finally. I think what disgusted me the most during the trial phase of this horrible crime was that Carri Williams had no remorse for what she did to that defenseless child. It was sickening to listen to her try to defend herself. Now it’s time for her to pay for her crimes against humanity. I can only hope she gets the maximum sentence. Larry on the other hand is just as guilty and a poor excuse for a man in my eyes. Who allows this to happen, who can watch it, participate in it and do nothing to help those children? It’s amazing he can walk upright as he has no spine. I am happy all the children are out of that torture chamber they were forced to live in.
Thank you so much for your work in following this trial and reporting on it. You have been an invaluable resource.
You are more than welcome. I appreciate your words here.
THANK YOU JURY OF SKAGIT for not dismissing the charges because of the age. You the Jury showed DIGNITY to the memory of Hana for not letting all the age testimony peppered out of sequence in the trial to confuse and intimidate. This shows not even a fraction of these types of child abuses will be not be tolerated. Lets get some clear laws on a federal level making anything having to do with cold deprivation abuse, locked in confinement, and spanking or striking of any kind no matter what the age. Also lets put a stop on forgiegn adoptions and immigration and concentrate on our own orphans in our own country after all these recent forgien adoption atrocities.
I think its real important that the christian churches loosen up and realize that there are Hindus, Buddhists, atheist and lots of other belief systems besides some of the extreme contemporary christian sects and Tea Party Movements nowadays that have lived for centuries and have good values. Saddens me that they were so sucked into that bible stuff!! Am sure there will better days ahead for the kids now and they will all come to terms with the illness that manifested these people. Sad story something that i still don’t understand.
I know this is a sad situation for all of us. But Carri and Larry were not following the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you should abuse your children.
They were following the advice of religious leaders who claim it is in the bible. The connection between the death of Hana and Carri’s religious devotion and belief that the bible is literally true cannot be denied.
No, it does not have anything to do with the bible. Its was Carri and Larry’s misinterpretation of the bible….as they seem to only use these techniques on the 2 children from Ethopia. If Carri truley believed these techniques were based on her Christian values then she would have administered the same punishment on the biological children. Hopefully, one day Carri will stop lying and confess her sins and tell the public why she really hated the ethopian children. My guess is she brought those children to the states to clean her house and be treated as modern day slaves. I was most struck by her comments that she did not want a “half-grown” women. The girl looks every bit of 13 and 14. If you did not want that then why adopt an 11 year old. It does not make sense. She wanted to torment this girl and only the William’s family will ever know the real motives behind the tortue.
This is truly good news. I was so fearful that the jury would convict Carri only on the lesser charges because of the age thing.
I was worried about the age issue also. I think the defense was really trying to get that homicide by abuse charge thrown out before it went to the jury. The judge rejected their request to dismiss that charge.
The Williams’s understood Hana to be a certain age, 13 – give or take a year. That was her legal age on her adoption documentation. The jury took the position I would have taken which is that the defense had the burden of proving that Hana was not older than her legal age.
I too am thankful and relieved. I must say although I thoroughly believe that both parents were guilty of all charges, I didn’t think the jury would find Larry guilty of the greater charge. I figured there would not be consensus on that. That being said, I knew it was possible for them to find both guilty of ‘only’ the manslaughter charge. So, I’m relieved.
I’m also sad for the bio children. This is a bittersweet day all around, even though justice was done for the most part.
Thanks again, Maureen, for your wonderful reporting and wisdom. I hope you can get some rest now yourself.
I agreed with a post way above that stated that Larry didn’t just “make a mistake” and was definitely guilty of the same charges Carri was (my opinion).
I do want to clarify, when I said I agreed 100%, I didn’t see this part of the post:
“I personally think the Williams should sue The Pearls for planting that train of thought into these people heads. ”
I disagree with this part. So, if I read a book that promotes beating my students and I beat my students, I should be able to sue if I get in trouble? Absolutely not. I’m an adult and should be able to decipher right from wrong. They are responsible for their behavior, not the crazy Pearls.
Thank you, Jackie, for your thoughtful words.
Immanuel is with a very wonderful foster Mom and doing well. I know she plans to adopt him so hopefully with this trial over he can continue to move on with his life and heal. He is a sweet young man, who has been through a lot in his 11 years.
Oh that warms my heart that he will finally know what love really is….
I am so very glad to hear he is in a good place. I hope he will heal from all of this and go on to great things. And bless the foster mother for taking him in and loving him.
I’m so very thankful for this verdict. But I’m still so very angry. Whilst the two ‘parents’ are headed to prison they will still have better food, better medical care, more space, more personal safety protections, and nicer toilets and shower facilities than Hana and Immanuel.
Why are we treating such inhumane people with more humanity than they ever showed the children they chose?
International adoptees deserve better.
If you wish to do something personally to help improve adoption, Maureen has provided avenues to do so in these posts (they are recent and easily findable if the links don’t work):
Hana’s Legacy, Once the Verdict is Decided
Treating Adopted Children Like–No, Worse Than–Dogs
The convictions, I feel, were the best result possible for the prosecution. With the OJ and Zimmerman results, we all have to hold our breath and hope the killer doesn’t walk free.
I have to wonder if the defendants would not have fared better if they had declined to testify. The only worse result would have been for Larry. Hearing Carri say “you did” to the prosecutor as if the prosecutor had a personal vendetta against her stuck in my mind and probably the jurors minds also.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. I guess Abraham Lincoln anticipated Carri Williams.
That quote is actually a paraphrase of a verse in the Bible.
That’s poetic justice. It is so often true. Thanks for the reference.
A bittersweet end isn’t it. We all want justice for Hana’s memory, but we lost a princess to get to that justice.
As a family member, I have gotten all of my information about the case from your blog and appreciate your compassion and thorough dialogue.
The kids are getting some of the most difficult news they’ve ever heard in their lives tonight and my heart is breaking for them as we wait to see how they take it.
I wish people weren’t so hateful, but I understand their strong emotions. We were in shock ourselves when we learned the truth.
I have compassion for the family of the accused in these cases. It’s a very difficult situation and the family ends up being vilified also. It’s a shame in this situation because I feel that things could have been different. The withdrawal of this family, into isolation and trying to adhere to legalistic authoritarian religious beliefs blew this family apart.
brbr2424, You could show compassion for the family by not speculating on things you know very little about. You seem to think vilifying the family is bad, but that’s most of what you have done here, especially concerning the older boys.
You demonstrate no understanding of the effects of their isolated living experience, even after all that’s come out during the trial. If there are charges to be made, the DA will make them, regardless of what is posted anonymously on a popular internet blog. It must be disconcerting to be a teenager and have anonymous hatred aimed your way by someone on the internet. They got up on the stand and told the truth to the best of their ability. That took great courage. Respect.
Just maybe the oldest joined the service to get his own life started, get out on his own two feet, support himself, provide a service to the country, see the world beyond Sedro Wolley! With all the turmoil at home the structure of the service seems like a great place to be, do college later after things have settled down.
Do your internet posts make the world a better place, or a lesser place? You seem like a pleasant enough person, so I encourage you to consider that when posting anonymously about the real people who will read what you write, maybe years down the road, maybe minutes later. Peace.
You might want to keep them from the comment section at KOMO. Sounds grim!! The Good Shepard Baptist Church and the lady who reccomended the adoptions have blood on thier hands!! So many people could have confronted Carri and Larry and did nothing until the violence escalated. If someone was giving carri the help she needed instead of encouraged the behavior Carri and Larry would be raising there children. Shame to all that was involved in this adoption who didn’t get involved with follow ups to make sure both Carri and Larry and the new kids mental health were in check. Please file charges against The Pearls too! Sad I hope all the victims, the younger kids and Immanual plus all the aunts and uncles cousins that weren’t involved heal. So sad, sorrow for you all!!
It is heartbreaking. So very much went so horribly wrong. I am sure it seems surreal to many people. I hope and believe many folks are keeping all the children in their thoughts and prayers.
Thanking God. So much quicker than I expected with such a lengthy trial. Rest in peace sweet Hana. Thankful you have justice and will never suffer again. Praying for Immanuel and the other children as they heal. Thank you Maureen for your updates and endurance.
Thank you for your kind words. I also hope for healing.
Oh wow. I thought they might be at this longer because it was so complex but I never doubted they would be found guilty. I actually think this woman is insane and because of that I hold the father more guilty because I don’t think that he is. That he did nothing to protect these children, not to mention his own, from his wife’s mania makes him more guilty.
I thought they would deliberate for at least a week also because they would have to go through so many charges. I guess the initial votes were unanimous and they just had to haggle over the most serious charge for Larry.
I agree that Larry seemed more sane but I am more sympathetic to him. From comments on the Facebook page it was Carri who wore the pants in that family. I hate that phrase but it fits. I think she pulled him down the Quiverful, homeschooling rabbit hole. From mention of their ages he seems almost a decade older than her. Like many men with a once hot, younger woman, he would go along with anything she wanted. He also was gone for a lot of what went on in that house of horrors. He also recognized who the real victim of this tragedy is. Carri is probably feeling more victimized than ever.
Thank you Maureen for following this so closely. It was a comfort to be able to know what was going on. It is hard to be “happy”, because there is so much sadness with all of this. But I thank God that justice was served. I know Immanuel, I have seen him blossom over the past two years, I am thankful his nightmare is over. I am thankful he is free to live. I hope and pray that the other children will recover and find love and a way to leave this all behind.
There is much to be thankful for, even as we grieve and acknowledge tragic losses. I share your hopes. Thank you.
Maureen, thank you so much for your faithful reporting of what was happening in the courtroom. It has been a blessing for those of us who care very much about how this case is going/has gone.
This means a great deal to me. Thank you.
I’m so glad to see this verdict. RIP, sweet Hana. Justice has been done. Continue in strength, brave little Immanuel.
But the battle is not over. We must continue all efforts for adoption reform so that Hana’s death was not in vain. This should never happen again.
Thank you, Maureen, for all your reporting and all that you do for the cause.
I agree, Gillian.
Thank you for your kind words.
Now can we see additions charges put on the adoption agency, the grandparent who provided the bigger switch and any others who turned a blind eye and also a head stone for Hana!! Thank you for justice and helping great headway on new laws!!!
Were does it say that a grandparent provided a bigger switch?
The whole family is evil. I wonder what their church has to say now.
Their church very well may be a home church. They were very isolated, and it isn’t uncommon for families like this to run their own church. So there may not actually be any ‘church’ that they were members of.
There was commentary that Carri’s mother had given her a larger glue stick or plumbing line or some such–but nothing was ever documented in court. I don’t think anything even came into testimony about it.
I haven’t heard anything definitive about the adoption agency being charged or implicated in court in regard to Hana, much as some folks might like to see that.
The only one that might pursue legal action–and this is my speculation only–would be Immanuel, perhaps against the adoption agency, perhaps against the state.
The older brothers were granted immunity by the prosecution in exchange for their testimony.
Larry, Larry’s family: The comment above is someone other than me, with a similar name, apparently. (I’m a friend of Larry’s from way back who corresponds with him and will visit him in prison. I’m not a fair-weather friend, though I haven’t seen them since their oldest was maybe two years old.)
Larry and carri were probably somewhat decent people before they crossed the line into criminal behavior of abuse. They had a lot of outlets to seek proper help and didn’t. I would imagine there are a lot of people were once nice people that cross the line into committing crimes of the worst nature such as this. That’s a small bright spot for these sadistic people that they have people like you that remember them for who they were before they got these serious issues that manifested. All they had to do was think of Hana’s welfare and what example they were setting and could have been free. They were adults and knew right from wrong. They should have realized to seek help. I hope they get some help and insight into thier crimes in prison
I can’t call a person a good person after they knowingly beat and starved a child for almost a year.
No good person would make anyone shower out door with a hose for almost a year and repeatedly whip.
This one person seems like an apologist for these people, what denial.
Hana was forced to live in a closet most of the time or else out doors.
Larry knew there were beatings going on, installed the lock on the closet and the shower apparatus outside and OKed the port a potty
Larry and Carri were both once nice, caring people before getting involved in the twisted values of To Train Up A Child.
Larry and Carri were both at fault for the brutal life that Hana had in her brief time in America and now where they need to be. It’s not fair to blame it all on Carri and say Larry is a good person. They both did crimes against those kids over a long period of time with plenty of time to recognize their behavior and get help. They did not and therefore have to serve time in a correctional institute to correct that type of behavior.
I personally think the Williams should sue The Pearls for planting that train of thought into these people heads. I hope people burn that book!
TD: Ahh the internet, attributed with things never written, said, or thought. I am not an apologist for the Williams. I don’t blame it all on one excluding the other. I’m not in denial; what I can do is separate the person from their past regretted actions.
brbr2424: I have no personal knowledge of any aspect of this case. Speculation on my part would have no more foundation than anyone else’s on the internet, and less than many here who attended the trial or have read the transcripts.
I am a believer in the possibilities of forgiveness and friendship.
In response to Jessica above, I believe the family belonged to a church prior to and I would guess for a while after Hana’s death. Pastor Howard Cooper of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Burlington, WA, officiated at Hana’s funeral, according to the obituary. Whether the family attended tha church regularly, I don’t know.
Testimony in court suggested that the family did indeed “home church” at some point, using their “music room/nursery”: the same room that had the closet Hana was locked into.
The adoption agency did not abuse or murder Hana. They did not know what monsters the Williams were. The Williams had everyone fooled in the beginning. The adoption agency was devastated by Hana’s death as were the rest of us.
There is no “were” about it. Larry was a good man back then, he is a good man now. He testified that he should have and wishes he would have done things much differently in the time preceding Hana’s death. Humans make mistakes, sometimes really big ones, sometimes unfixable ones. I don’t expect most people to understand, and it’s kind of weird, but every time I read something more hate-filled than the last thing it just makes me stronger and more resolute to be there for them.
Mahatma Gandhi: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” If you have really hateful thoughts about this subject and these people, I’d suggest for you to contemplate the smiling young Hana. Would she desire for you to have such hateful thoughts? Toward anyone? Or maybe to do something more positive, fun, smile-inducing, and laughter-filled, in due course, with your time. Peace.
(The first part of my reply below was intended for the 9/9/13 10:42 pm post, the remainder in general.)
TD, I agree with you, 100%. I am sure I would have been with the jurors who thought Larry should be handed the same verdict as Carri. I don’t know either of them, so I don’t know if or when there was a change.
In response to 10:31 pm. I didn’t watch the whole trial but I feel that Larry is the more sympathetic of the two. He had an appropriate reaction to the death of a human, that he was complicit in, whereas Carri to this day seems to think that Hana did this to herself. Having been married and in relationships, the dynamics of a relationship are often unexplainable. I was in a marriage where we both threw good money after bad in a business. You don’t realize you are in over your head in a bad situation until too late.
You seem to know Larry, and I would be interested on your take on how he found himself in this situation.
We got-em Hana, we got-em!!!!!
ye we did princess, yes we did
Pingback: Williams Trial – Day 29: The Verdict | Why Not Train A Child?
Were the children all in foster care or were some of them in foster care (that’s what I think I heard)? What will happen with the children now?
I believe all the children were either placed with relatives or in foster care. Immanuel was certainly in foster care. The oldest son was over 18, and is now in Korea in the US army. I believe there will be Dependency Court hearings to determine what will happen to the children now. It’s just all tragic.
That’s the only thing that keeps me from cheering out loud–it will be very hard on the bio kids to lose their parents, even if the parents were monsters. But I can’t imagine two people who deserve prison more than Larry and Carri. I wish some of those adoption agency people.
I was talking to a woman in court today who works for CPS, she said all of the children are now with relatives.
I hope the relatives are not as batty as this couple. It was disturbing that one of the children felt Hana was possessed by demons. I hope they are allowed to go to public school and are receiving counselling.
Is there any talk of the older boys being prosecuted for abusing a dying girl?
This is good news!Thank you so much for doing this update. I am glad the jury did the right thing. May these two monsters NEVER have the chance to abuse any more children.