• Kids testify in parents' murder and abuse trial

    By: Lee Stoll


    Skagit County, Wash. - It was Day 7 in a Skagit couple's murder and child abuse trial.
    Larry and Carri Williams have not seen their seven children in nearly two years.
    Today, two of their daughters were called to testify for the prosecution.

    Cara Williams, now 14, pointed at a picture of her family's Sedro-Woolley home to show where she found her adopted Ethiopian sister Hana lying naked, face down in the backyard in 2011.
    She helped her mother Carri drag the teen inside—but Hana was too heavy.
    Cara's brothers picked her up but it was too late. Hana died of hypothermia and malnutrition.

    "We put a sheet over her body," said Cara Williams.

    Cara, one of Larry and Carri's seven children, says Immanuel, a brother, and Hana ate outside and slept in a closet when they broke the rules in the gated, conservative Christian home.
    The parents claim they cared for the adopted pair—like shaving Hana's hair when she had lice.
    But Cara says Hana's braids were shaved as punishment.

    "Because she was clipping grass around the house and she was clipping it down to an inch instead of leaving a couple of inches," said Cara.

    The Williams could face life in prison and are charged with assaulting Immanuel and abusing Hana to death.
    A witness told investigators the couple followed a controversial book called "Train Up A Child". The author tells parents to use a switch, cold baths, withhold food and force children outside in cold weather as punishment.
    Cara says her father, a Boeing worker, and her stay-at-home mother hit all of the kids.

    "In your family you call the swats and spanking "training" correct?" asked Larry's attorney, Cassie Trueblood.
    "Yes," said Cara.

    But Cara says the adopted children were the only ones who had to shower outside with a garden hose.

    "Did you ever take a shower out there?" asked prosecutor Rich Weyrich.
    "No," said Cara.

    Prosecutors want jurors to hear from the couple's oldest sons.
    But a judge ruled the pair will not testify without immunity—because they are also accused with abusing their adopted siblings.
    Prosecutors say they are willing to give immunity from any future charges which should clear the way for the boys to testify this week.

    Next Up: