Mount Vernon, Wash. - Day 25 in the Skagit murder and abuse trial as Carri Williams blamed her adopted daughter for her own death. Carri and her husband, Larry, are accused of systematically torturing two adopted kids and killing their daughter Hana.
Prosecutors showed Carri photos of Hana in the three years between her adoption and her death. Her body clearly changed as her full face disappeared and her bones began to show. "My daughter was not thin," insisted Williams, even when Hana's emaciated, 5-foot frame weighed just 78 pounds.
"What you're saying is very rude," snapped Williams during a confrontation with prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula. "Rudeness would be punished in your house as well, right? You feel it's important not to be rude," asked Kaholokula. "Deliberate rudeness, yes," said Williams. The bitter back and forth continued as Williams defended her actions the night Hana died face-down behind the family's Sedro-Woolley home. "I did the best I could with what I knew," said Williams.
Williams admits Hana spent her last hours outside on a cold, rainy night in shorts and a T-shirt. Carri sent her three sons outside to hit the girl for refusing to come in. Hana was throwing herself on the ground, bleeding from the head and knees, unable to eat. Carri claimed she was pretending. "Did it occur to you at some point that there might be a problem?" asked Kaholokula. "No I did not. It was not new behavior for her," said Williams.
Carri said Hana was constantly disobedient and unsanitary. She deserved to use a port-a-potty, shower with a garden hose and sleep in the barn.
Hana's adopted brother Immanuel says the Ethiopian pair were beaten and fed frozen food — punishments Larry and Carri never gave their own seven children.
The couple could face life in prison.
After a month of horrific testimony, Carri shocked many in the court, saying she still believes Hana caused her own death. "I do not believe she intentionally killed herself but I believe, yes," said Williams. "You think she did this to herself?" asked Kaholokula. "I believe that, yes," said Williams.
Court is in recess for the holiday weekend. Closing arguments are set for Wednesday.