This is chilling and sad to read,imagining what the poor innocent girl must have passed through before she died.
*A woman has been found guilty in Washington state of starving and freezing to death her 13-year-old Ethiopian-born adopted daughter whom she was raising according to the dictates of a strict religious handbook for parents.
Hana Williams was locked outside and died of hypothermia in May 2011 after she was found unconscious shortly after midnight in temperatures hovering around 40F (4C), authorities said.
The girl’s mother, Carri Williams, was convicted of homicide by abuse and of manslaughter linked to the girl’s death, while the father, Larry Williams, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, a representative of the Skagit county prosecutor’s office said.
Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley – a town about halfway between Seattle and the Canadian city of Vancouver – were arrested in September 2011, more than four months after Hana died in their backyard.
Investigators said Hana had endured beatings, starvation, being forced to sleep outside and use an outdoor toilet and that she had lost a significant amount of weight since her adoption in 2008. Prosecutors said her 10-year-old brother, who also was adopted from Ethiopia, was similarly mistreated.
The parents kept the family isolated from non-relatives, home-schooled them and followed a harsh child-rearing regimen described in the Christian parenting book To Train Up a Child, investigators said, while adding that religion had been deemed not relevant to the criminal case.
During the seven-week trial Carri Williams was tearful yet defiant under cross-examination by prosecutors. Shown a photo of her children, she accused prosecutors of having “ripped apart” her family. “I did the best I could with what I knew,” she said.
In addition to the charges linked to Hana’s death, both parents were found guilty of assault of a child stemming from mistreatment of their 10-year-old son.
Both parents could face a maximum penalty of up to life in prison due to aggravating factors in the crime, although prosecutors said the judge had discretion on the duration. They are to be sentenced in October.
The case is among several in recent years that have drawn attention to the vulnerability of children from overseas adopted by US families, among them the death in January of three-year-old Russian adoptee Max Shatto. Texas authorities determined that Shatto died of self-inflicted injuries and his parents were not charged in his death, but Russian officials seized on the case as justifying a 2012 ban on adoptions by Americans.