Note: My blog post about the sentencing and jail terms is available here at Larry and Carri Williams: Sentenced to Long Jail Times.
Larry and Carri Williams are expected to appear in Skagit County Court tomorrow, October 29, at 9:30am Pacific Daylight Time, for sentencing following their convictions in the murder of their Ethiopian adopted daughter Hana, and for the assault of their Ethiopian adopted son Immanuel. The courthouse is expected to be packed, following the longest trial ever in Skagit County, Washington.
The jury announced their decision on September 9. Both Larry and Carri were taken immediately to jail that day. Sentencing was originally scheduled for October 8. My guess is that decisions regarding the placements of the Williams’ children needed to be settled prior to sentencing. I believe that their minor children will be placed with relatives. I have heard that parental rights for Immanuel have been terminated, which would mean he could be adopted by another family, but I have no confirmation of that yet.
The decision on sentencing is in the hands of Judge Susan Cook, who presided over the trial. The lawyers have been busy preparing documents for the judge to consider in making her decision.
Carri Williams was found guilty of homicide by abuse and of manslaughter of Hana. She was also found guilty of first degree assault of Immanuel. Here is a recent Skagit Valley Herald article on Carri Williams’ motion to drop manslaughter charge. My understanding is that the prosecutors will recommend 27 to 37 years in jail for Carri Williams.
Here is a Skagit Valley Herald article on Carri Williams’ treatment in jail.
Larry Williams was found guilty of manslaughter of Hana and of first degree assault of Immanuel. He has already spent about two years in jail while the case was pending and could get credit for that time. My understanding is that the prosecutors will recommend 14 to 18 years in jail for Larry Williams.
Here is a recent Skagit Valley Herald article on Larry Williams’ attorneys motion to dismiss the conviction.
Rachel Forde, one of Larry’s Snohomish County public defenders, has been consistent in her strategy for her client. In the course of Larry’s testimony during the trial, he blamed Carri for almost all that happened. The idea: his work schedule (noon to midnight, plus overtime) prevented him from knowing what was going on. The defense motion asks the judge to dismiss the conviction, but my sense is that this is simply an aggressive defense argument, and a very unlikely outcome. Ms. Forde also argues that Larry should receive a sentence of 5 years at most, which is also unlikely. Many folks felt Larry threw Carri under the bus during this trial, and that perspective is in place for sentencing as well. A hefty part of this defense motion included a study of adjustment issues for international adoptees, suggesting that Hana and Immanuel were responsible for the crimes committed against them. A lot of room under that bus, it seems. The tragedy continues.
The Skagit Valley Herald articles were all written by reporter Gina Cole, who has covered the trial since the first day of jury selection in July. You can access Gina’s articles on her Facebook page.
If you have trouble accessing the Skagit Valley Herald articles because of their limitations, try going to the links through a different browser (Safari, Chrome, etc.).
If you use Twitter, good sources for real-time updates during tomorrow’s sentencing are likely the following:
@Gina_SVH This is Gina Cole, the reporter mentioned above.
@EricWilkinson He’s a reporter for KING 5 news in Seattle.
@LeeStoll She is a reporter for KIRO-TV in Seattle.
Follow updates on Twitter at #WilliamsTrial.
I have written extensively about this case over the past year, and I wrote about the trial every day that I attended. It’s hard to feel anything but sorrow, even as I believe justice was the outcome of the trial. Folks will be visiting Hana’s grave in the Sedro-Woolley cemetery after the sentencing hearing Tuesday morning, and I hope to get further word about a grave marker/headstone.
I will continue to write about Hana’s legacy.
May Hana never be forgotten. May Immanuel grow strong and unafraid. May this horror never happen to another child.