SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. - Day 22 in the Skagit murder and abuse trial as Larry Williams took the stand -- and took aim at his own wife.
Larry and Carri have been sitting just a few feet from each other at the defense table for more than a month. But Larry tried to separate himself from his wife with a few tear-filled words.
"My daughter died," he said. "Possibly I could have done something to stop it. I didn't."
Larry smiled — remembering when the couple adopted Hana and Immanuel from Ethiopia to join their own seven children. The former Boeing employee left Carri to homeschool and discipline the kids at their Sedro Wolley property.
"Inside stuff mainly was Carri's domain," said Larry.
Larry admits he spanked Immanuel with a switch and belt. When the boy's behavior didn't change, Larry says he was told to hit the child's feet.
"Who suggested it to you?" Asked attorney Rachel Forde.
"Carri did," said Larry.
Larry said it was also Carri's idea to shave Hana's head, lock her in a closet for hours and wash her with a garden hose in the backyard.
The girl starved and froze to death near that same area two years ago.
"I was just surprised how thin (she was)," he said.
Both parents face abuse, assault and manslaughter charges — and the chance of life in prison if convicted.
Larry is already in jail for trying to contact his children — violating a no contact order.
"How are you feeling?" Asked Forde.
"Responsible. Ashamed," said Larry.
Prosecutors say the father knew what was happening at home.
"Did you approve?" Asked prosecutor Rich Weyrich.
"No," said Larry.
"Did you try to stop it?" Asked Weyrich.
"No," Said Larry.
Carri's attorneys will not say if she plans to testify herself.