A Washington state couple were convicted of manslaughter Monday in the malnutrition and hypothermia death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia.
According to the Huffington Post, a jury found Larry Williams of Sedro-Woolley guilty of first-degree manslaughter, while his wife, Carri Williams, was found guilty of homicide by abuse as well as manslaughter.
The report continued on to say that the jury also convicted them both of assault.
ABC News reported that Hana Williams, believed to be 13, died in the backyard of the family’s home in May 2011.
New York Daily News reported that she died starving and was found naked laying face down in the mud.
According to ABC News, prosecutors said she was starved, beaten, and forced outside as punishment.
The report continued on to say that Defense lawyers argued that questionable parenting practices don’t necessarily amount to a crime. Lawyers for both husband and wife said an appeal is likely.
“She came to America, you know the American dream and all those sort of things, and you know it was more like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street,’” Prosecutor Rich Weyrich said, according to KOMO News.
The New York Daily News reported that Hana’s parents saw her as “rebellious” and forced her to sleep in a locked closet, wash outside with a hose, and use an outhouse as her bathroom.
“Hana lost 30 pounds in the last year of her life, weighing just 78 pounds when she died, the paper reported. She was 5 feet tall and believed to be 13 years old.”
According to reports, the trial was delayed several times so experts could exhume Hana’s body and try to confirm her age from her teeth and bones because there was no documentation of her birth from Ethiopia.
The couple could face life in prison but could be sentenced to less. According to New York Daily News, prosecutors recommended 14 to18 years in prison for Larry Williams and 27 to 37 years for Carri Williams in their adopted daughter’s death.
[Image by Kiro7 via New York Daily News]