Without regard to any book, the other news outlets report that the husband in this couple actually said the wife DID abuse the girl and was responsible for the child's death. She said he knew what she was doing. I don't care what the book said, what these people DID was kill a child in cold blood. She was found face down, naked, outside, on a cold, rainy night. If you think that reasonable discipline involves that, Jesus is ready to fit you for your millstone.
This is from local news in Washington shortly after the child's death. This was abuse plain and simple and no one can reasonably say otherwise. Monstrous.
Hana, 13, was adopted from Ethiopia in 2008 by Larry and Carri Williams, of Sedro-Woolley.
She was regularly spanked and locked in a closet, and was forced to sleep in a barn and take garden-hose showers outside, according to an affidavit from the Skagit County Sheriff's Office. The affidavit was based on information from the couple's six natural children, another adopted child, medical experts and other family and friends. The interviews were conducted by detectives and investigators from the state's Child Protective Services.
In 2009, Hana weighed 108 pounds, but over the past two years of her life, she lost 30 pounds, largely because her parents denied her food as punishment, the affidavit says. She was so thin she couldn't retain enough heat May 12, the night she died. She had been outside with no clothes and died of hypothermia, an autopsy found.
On the backs of her legs were marks consistent with being beaten earlier in the day, the affidavit alleges.
According to the investigators, the Williamses were familiar with the Pearls and had given a copy of their book to an acquaintance.
Larry Williams, 47, a Boeing worker, told sheriff's detectives the children were disciplined with a piece of white plastic more than a foot long. It had a round ball on the end, and he said he had picked it up at a plumbing-supply store.
On Sept. 29, after four months of investigation, the Williamses were charged with homicide by abuse. They were also charged with assault for allegedly torturing Hana's adopted brother, 10, also from Ethiopia.
The couple are free on bail. If convicted, they face life terms in prison.
All but one of the Williams children have been placed with relatives or foster parents, CPS says. The eldest, now 18, is back home.
The Williamses, through their attorneys, declined to comment for this article.
Rachel Forde, who represents Larry Williams, said in an email: "Just because the government makes an accusation doesn't mean it's true. ... Once the jury hears the evidence, unfiltered by the prosecutor's lens, we believe that a much different picture will emerge about the lives of the Williams children and Hana's tragic death."
After Hana died, Michael Pearl issued a statement.
"We share in the sadness over the tragic death of Hana Williams," he said. "What her parents allegedly did is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of No Greater Joy Ministries and what is taught in the book, 'To Train Up a Child.' "
No Greater Joy Ministries is the name of the business the Pearls run in Pleasantville, Tenn.
If the Williamses had a copy of the book, Pearl said, they either didn't read it or "totally ignored its contents."