Prosecutors are seeking to exhume the body of Hana Williams, the young teen found dead in her family’s backyard last year, in order to back up the charges against the girl’s parents.
A motion hearing will take place Friday morning in Skagit County Superior Court.
Hana was found dead on May 12, 2011, outside of Sedro-Woolley. Hypothermia brought on by malnutrition was determined to be the cause of death.
Her adoptive parents, Larry and Carri Williams, were charged months later with homicide by abuse for her death. Investigative records indicate evidence that the parents assaulted and starved their daughter.
Hana was believed to be 13 at the time of her death; because she was adopted from Ethiopia three years earlier, her birthdate was not certain. However, defense attorney Wes Richards filed in August his intention to call a trial witness from Adoption Advocates, the agency that facilitated Hana’s adoption, to testify that birthdates given for adopted children are often unreliable or inaccurate.
The homicide by abuse charge only holds for victims younger than 16.
Exhuming Hana’s body will allow examiners to pinpoint her age by examining her teeth and bones, according to Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich’s written motion.
Larry and Carri Williams are also charged with assaulting another child they adopted from Ethiopia, a boy about 11 years old.http://www.goskagit.com