MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - Day 26 in the Skagit murder and abuse case as jurors may start deliberations Thursday afternoon.
Larry and Carri Williams are on trial accused of killing their adopted daughter Hana and abusing their adopted son Immanuel. They were arrested on three charges, but jurors have more than a dozen counts to vote on.
"This wonderful young girl was killed by the defendants." said county attorney Rich Weyrich in closing arguments.
Weyrich summarized the five week criminal trial—the longest criminal trial in Skagit County history.
Experts testified Hana and Immanuel, who were adopted from Ethiopia, were beaten and isolated through home-schooling and limited group trips to church.
"They wanted to kill her spirit, kill her pride." Said Weyrich.
Immanuel and several of the other seven children said the Ethiopian pair were fed frozen food and slept in closets. Hana showered outside and had her head shaved—different punishments for not washing the shampoo out of her hair, cutting the grass incorrectly and getting her homework wrong.
Larry, a former Boeing employee, and Carri, a stay-at-home mom, are charged with homicide by abuse, manslaughter and assault—each could mean life in prison.
But jurors will be allowed to consider lesser degrees of those charges—like third-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter—15 options in all. Those lesser charges could mean less time in prison if they are convicted.
Larry's attorney says Carri punished the kids while he was at work. They claim an eating disorder may have caused Hana to waste away to 78 pounds.
"Every celebrity in every People magazine has protruding collarbones. That does not mean they're about to keel over and die." Said Larry's attorney, Rachel Forde.
Prosecutors say the couple controlled their gated Sedro-Woolley home equally. On the stand, the parents blamed each other.
"They each kind of pointed at the other one saying no, it's his idea, nope, her idea." Said Weyrich.
Closing arguments continue tomorrow morning with Carri's defense team.
Jurors could begin deliberations by tomorrow afternoon.