Death of Hana Grace-Rose Williams

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Hana Grace-Rose Williams (born Hana Alemu, June 19, 1997 – May 12, 2011[citation needed]) was a girl adopted from Ethiopia by an American couple living in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. She died in 2011 of hypothermia, according to an autopsy, and her adoptive parents Carri and Larry Williams were convicted in September 2013.[1][2][3] The adoptive father was later convicted of manslaughter in her death.[1] Carri Williams was convicted of "homicide by abuse" for Williams' abuse and death and was convicted of "first-degree assault of a child" for abusing a second adopted Ethiopian child who survived and testified at her trial.[4][5]

Background[edit]

Williams was adopted by Carri and Larry Williams in 2008 through Adoption Advocates International (AAI), an adoption agency based in Port Angeles, Washington. Before being adopted, she lived in Kidane Mehret Children's Home, a Catholic orphanage in Addis Ababa affiliated with AAI.[6][7]

After being adopted, Hana was regularly spanked, locked in a closet, and denied food as punishment. She was not allowed to wear clothes, only a towel. She was also forced to sleep in a barn and take showers with a garden hose.[2]

According to a memorial statement posted by her adoptive parents on the Lemley Chapel website, Williams "enjoyed knitting and crocheting, reading, drawing and various crafts, playing soccer and riding her bicycle."[3] It is possible that she was homeschooled by Carri.[8]

In addition to being the adoptive parents of Williams and an Ethiopian boy, Carri and Larry have seven[9] biological children. At Carri and Larry's trial, their biological children wrote letters saying that their parents were good and had not abused anyone. Carri Williams, convicted of homicide by abuse and first-degree assault of a child, was sentenced to 36 years and 11 months in prison. Larry Williams, convicted of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child, was sentenced to 27 years and nine months in prison. [10][11]

Controversy regarding To Train Up a Child[edit]

Williams's adoptive parents had a copy of the controversial parenting book To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, which encourages child abuse.[12][2][13] They had also given a copy of the book to an acquaintance, according to investigators.[2][14]

On his website, Michael Pearl responded to the deaths of Hana Williams, Sean Paddock, and Lydia Schatz by noting that "we share in the sadness over the tragic death of Hana Williams",[15] but also that "I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly-spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love" who become "entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements."[16] Pearl spoke to the media about the controversy, stating that because the plastic tubing he recommends in the book is of a certain size, he is not responsible when parents who follow his lead use tubing that he believes is too big and end up murdering their children.[14][17] Pearl stated of the murder of Hana Williams, "What her parents did is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of No Greater Joy Ministries and what is taught in the book."[18] The New York Times claimed that the Williamses took the book's advice, particularly the Pearls' recommendation that parents starve their children by claiming that "a little fasting is good training", to extremes.[14] A witness in the trial reported that the Williamses followed the book's recommendations "to use a switch, cold baths, withhold food and force children outside in cold weather as punishment," all of which were used on Williams before her death.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Couple guilty in death of adopted daughter". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Local News". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Hana Grace-Rose Williams". Lemley Chapel. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Williams Trial: Mother guilty on 3 counts, father on 2". Goskagit.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Couple convicted in Sedro-Woolley abuse case". King5.com. 9 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Hana Williams: The tragic death of an Ethiopian adoptee, and how it could happen again". Slate Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Prosecutors describe 'house of horrors' in Hana Williams trial". KOMO News. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Hana Grace-Rose Williams". Homeschooling's Invisible Children. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Adoptive parents on trial in Ethiopian girl's death". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Decades in prison for Williams couple". Goskagit.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Father testifies about shame, regret over daughter's death". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  12. ^ Hodson, Jeff (November 27, 2011). "Did Hana's parents "train" her to death?". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Justice is served for Hana Williams' adoptive parents". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b c Eckholm, Erik (November 6, 2011). "Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Hana Williams Official Statement". No Greater Joy website. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Laughing". No Greater Joy website. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  17. ^ Cooper, Anderson. "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, Aired October 26, 2011". CNN. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  18. ^ Burnett, Thane (October 8, 2011). "Was child abused to death due to advice from book?". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  19. ^ Stoll, Lee. "Kids testify in parents' murder and abuse trial". KIRO TV. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.