Jurors hear shocking details in child murder trial

by: Lee Stoll Updated:

Day 7 in a Skagit couple's murder and child abuse trial.

On the eighth day of a child murder and abuse trial, jurors in Skagit County heard how Hana Williams allegedly spent her last hours alive out in the cold being hit by her adopted brothers.

That shocking testimony came from Larry and Carri Williams' own daughter, Sarah Williams.

"What's the last memory you have of Hana?" asked prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula. The question left Sarah in tears and forced the judge to call a courtroom break.

Sarah was just 10 when her adopted sister Hana died behind the family's Sedro-Woolley home from hypothermia and malnutrition. Sarah told jurors Hana spent her final night on a closet floor while the rest of the Williams children were tucked in bed.

"When you went to bed at night, would Hana be in the closet?" asked Kaholokula.

"Yes," Sarah said.

Two of the Williams' seven children testified that Hana and Immanuel—both adopted from Ethiopia—were spanked for disobeying Carri, a homemaker, and Larry, a Boeing worker.

The parents could spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted of assault and manslaughter.

They've had no contact with their children for nearly two years.

Sarah -- now living with relatives – said the adopted kids were fed frozen vegetables and soaked sandwiches.

"Mom would put water on them," said Sarah.

Sarah says Hana spent her last few hours outside on a cold May night walking around the patio. Carri has repeatedly said she told the teen to come inside.

But Sarah contradicted her own mother -- and says mom told Hana to keep moving.

"She was doing jumping jacks and standing and sitting to keep warm," said Sarah.

But when the frail teen stopped, Sarah says her mom ordered her two older brothers outside to punish the girl.

"They were giving her spankings on the leg. Mom told them to," Sarah said.

The next time anyone looked outside, Hana was dead, jurors were told.

"Hana was lying facedown on the ground," Sarah said, as she cried.

Sarah says her brothers hit Immanuel and Hana repeatedly. Both boys were given immunity from any charges because prosecutors want jurors to hear they were told to do so by their parents.