MOUNT VERNON — In the hours before Hana Williams collapsed in her adoptive family’s backyard and succumbed to hypothermia, her adoptive mother and siblings watched her limping and seemed to be “laughing at her,” the family’s adoptive son testified this morning.
Larry and Carri Williams are standing trial on charges they abused Hana to death and assaulted the adopted boy. They have pleaded not guilty.
The boy, who is deaf, testified today through sign-language interpreters he thought his adoptive parents “were kinda nuts.”
He has previously said in court that Larry and Carri hit him with a switch or a belt, sometimes on the bottom of his feet or his head, if he disobeyed them. He also said they sometimes made him eat meals outside, even if it was snowing.
The boy told defense attorney Rachel Forde his foster family is “very nice.”
“They didn’t beat me, spank me or anything,” he said.
Forde spent much of the morning wrangling with interpreters over the sign-language translations of “spank,” “beat,” “whip” and other such words, trying to clarify that the connotation of what she said in her questions was coming across in the translation to American Sign Language.
Forde then formally subpoenaed court-certified deaf interpreter Clyde Vincent, who has been translating for the boy, as well as the boy’s victim advocate, who has accompanied him in conversations with prosecutors.
Forde said she is not sure whether she’ll call Vincent to the stand but said she wants the opportunity to do so.