Hana Williams, shown in a frame-grab from KIRO-TV, died in 2011 of hypothermia hastened by malnutrition. Her adoptive parents, Larry and Carri Williams, are on trial for homicide by abuse in Mount Vernon, Wash.
Hana Williams, an Ethiopian girl living in a "house of horrors" in Washington state, was allegedly starved and beaten then left outside to die, prosecutors said in closing arguments in the homicide by abuse trial of her adoptive parents.
Hana Williams, who is described as 13 years old, died in 2011. An autopsy showed she died of hypothermia hastened by malnutrition and a stomach condition.
Larry, a former Boeing worker, and Carri Williams, a stay-at-home mother, are accused of homicide by abuse and manslaughter in Hana's death and of abuse and first-degree assault of Hana's deaf brother Immanuel.
The couple, who have seven biological children, could face life in prison if convicted.
The jury in Mount Vernon, Wash., 35 miles north of Seattle, could begin deliberating their fate as early as Friday.
"They both played an integral part in this house of horrors," Skagit County prosecutor Rich Weyrich told jurors at the close of the seven-week trial on Thursday.
"They tortured and starved her until she passed away, and they tortured and starved Immanuel Williams," he said, according to KOMO-TV.
The prosecutor said Hana weighed 76 pounds in 2008 when she was adopted from Ethiopia and had gained 32 pounds by 2009. When she died, in 2011, she weighed only 78 pounds.
The state, noting that the home-schooled children were kept isolated, described a pattern of abuse over a year and a half, including forcing Hana to live in a tiny closet and to use a portable toilet and shower outside.
"These children were denied food, beaten with a belt, glue stick, plumbing tools ... locked in closet ... washed down with hoses," Weyrich said.
But the two parents turned on each other during the trial, with defense attorneys for each blaming the other spouse.
Larry Williams' defense attorney, Rachel Forde, said in closing arguments that Hana's death was a tragic accident, but that the father, in any case, was not home when she died and "had absolutely nothing to do with it."
Forde argued that Larry Williams loved Hana and that his wife "'designed, planned and implemented" the discipline.
She also argued that the father would not have noticed anything amiss about Hana's weight since he only saw her when she was modestly dressed and would only have been able to see her collarbone sticking out.
"Every celebrity in every People magazine has protruding collarbones," she said, according to the Skagit Valley Herald. "That does not mean they're about to keel over and die."
She also suggested that Hana's weight might have been the result of a stomach infection or eating disorder.
Carri Williams attorney, during the trial, made it clear that the wife blames the strict discipline on her husband and claimed that Hana died accidentally by refusing to go inside to get warm on the night she died.
When Carri Williams took the stand, deputy prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula pressed her about that fateful rainy night.
Williams testified that Hana started throwing herself violently onto the ground, hitting her head.
"It was on the gravel, on the cement and on our lawn," Williams said. "I couldn't stand to watch her do that over and over again."
"So you went inside and turned off the light?" asked Kaholokula, KING-TV reports.
"I went inside, yes, but I still monitored her from the inside," Williams answered.
"Well, sure, because what else could you do? She was throwing herself down, what else could you do but go inside and leave her out there, right?"
"I did the best I could," Williams replied.
In one twist in the case, Carri Williams' attorney used an expert to try to prove that Hana was not 13, as officially listed, but was closer to 16, KIRO-TV reports. That would mean Hana, at the time of her death, was legally too old to have her parents convicted of homicide by abuse, which applies to younger victims.