by: Lee Stoll Updated:SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. —
Friday marked day 15 in the Skagit murder and abuse trial as a teenager described the night he saw his adopted sister die.
Larry and Carri Williams' son Joseph broke down remembering what his mother told him to do with the girl's body.
Anxiety, even anger, about being called to testify against his parents made it tough for Joseph to talk.
"I don't remember," he said repeatedly.
Joseph struggled with simple questions, like what his adopted sister Hana was wearing the night she died, even after he was shown her T-shirt and shorts.
"I don't recall anything,” said Joseph. He finally broke down in tears.
"We're going to take a recess, ladies and gentlemen,” said Judge Susan Cook.
The 16-year-old said Hana spent her last night outside the family’s Sedro-Woolley home in the cold.
As punishment, her head had been shaved and no one in the house was allowed to talk to her.
The 13-year-old girl was spanked by her mother and older brother when she was caught sitting down and not exercising. She soon froze and starved to death, authorities said.
"There was a sheet over her," said Joseph.
He said his mother told him to bring the girl’s body inside, where she performed CPR and called 911.
"My mom wanted me to go out with my two oldest brothers because Hana was lying just off the back patio,” said Joseph.
Joseph says his parents, Larry and Carri, were strict.
All nine children, including Hana and her adopted brother Immanuel, were spanked.
Immanuel said the Ethiopian pair were hit with belts and a spatula, fed frozen food and forced to sleep in closets.
Joseph and his two older brothers were also allowed to spank the younger children as punishment.
"From whom did you get that authority to discipline?" asked prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula.
"My parents,” said Joseph.
Prosecutors gave Joseph and his brother Jacob immunity from any possible charges so they could testify.