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The case of young teen Hana Williams’ 2011 death continued with another step Thursday morning after Judge Susan Cook said she will allow some defense expert examination of Hana’s body when it is exhumed.

Hana’s adoptive parents, Larry and Carri Williams from near Sedro-Woolley, are charged with homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter by domestic violence in her death.

Investigative reports indicate she was assaulted repeatedly in the Williams’ care and that she died of hypothermia brought on by malnutrition as she was left outside in her family’s backyard.

Cook granted prosecutors’ request for exhumation two weeks earlier in an attempt to determine Hana’s age. Though she was believed to be about 13 at the time of her death, her exact age is unknown because she was adopted out of Ethiopia and did not have birth records.

Hana must be under 16 for her parents’ homicide by abuse charge to apply.

Forensic experts employed by defense attorneys said they plan to perform an independent age analysis and re-examine the possible cause of her death.

No date has been set for Hana’s exhumation from the Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolley.

* This story will be updated with more details.

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