Autopsy testimony in death of Sedro-Woolley girl

MOUNT VERNON — A girl who was found dead in the back yard of her Sedro-Woolley home had bruises, scrapes and marks where she could have been struck at least 14 times with a switch like the one her parents used to discipline their children, the doctor who conducted the autopsy testified.

The cause of death for Hana Williams was hypothermia with malnutrition and a stomach condition as contributing factors, Dr. Daniel Selove, of Everett, concluded. He testified Tuesday in the homicide by abuse trial of Larry and Carri Williams, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

They also are charged with manslaughter in the death of their adopted daughter. Hana was found dead on the rainy night May 12, 2011. Carri Williams called 911 and reported Hana was not breathing, saying the girl had refused to come into the house. She was found face down in the back yard with mud in her mouth.

Hana Williams was starved, beaten and forced outside as punishment, prosecutors said last week when the trial began in Skagit County Superior Court. Defense lawyers told jurors that questionable parenting practices don’t necessarily amount to a crime.

The Williams also are charged with first-degree child assault, for allegedly abusing their son who also was adopted in 2008 from Ethiopia. Hana was believed to have been about 13 at the time of her death and her brother is 12 now.

The boy who is deaf testified through a sign language interpreter Monday that the Williams used sticks or belts to beat him all over his body. The punishments worsened during the three years he was there, and he also described being sprayed with a water hose if he wet his pants.

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