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October 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM
The Associated Press
MOUNT VERNON — A Skagit County couple accused of starving, beating and forcing their adopted daughter outside as punishment were sentenced to prison for decades Tuesday for her death.
Carri Williams was sentenced to just under 37 years, the top of the standard sentencing range, by a judge who said she probably deserved more time in prison. Her husband, Larry Williams, received a sentence of nearly 28 years.
The couple were convicted Sept. 9 of manslaughter in the death of a teenage girl they adopted from Ethiopia.
Hana Williams was found dead May 12, 2011, in the backyard of the family home in Sedro-Woolley. The autopsy found she died of hypothermia, with malnutrition and a stomach condition as contributing factors.
Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 27 to 37 years for Carri Williams, who also was convicted of homicide by abuse. They sought a sentence of 14 to 18 years for Larry Williams, who wasn’t home at the time of the death, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.
Both also were found guilty of assault of a child for punishing a boy they adopted in 2008 from Ethiopia at the same time as Hana.
Larry and Carri Williams were convicted after a seven-week trial in Skagit County Superior Court. Defense lawyers told jurors that questionable parenting practices didn’t necessarily amount to a crime.
On the rainy night Hana died, Carri Williams called 911 and reported Hana was not breathing, saying the girl had refused to come into the house. Hana was found face-down in the backyard with mud in her mouth.
Hana is believed to have been 13, but no documentation of her birth in Ethiopia was available.
The trial was postponed several times, and her body was exhumed in January. Tests on her teeth and bones gave varying estimates, and experts were unable to agree on her age. Her age was significant because the homicide by abuse charge applies only if the victim was younger than 16.
The boy from Ethiopia testified that the parents used sticks or belts to beat him all over his body as punishment. He also described being sprayed with a water hose if he wet his pants.
After the arrests, the boy and six biological children were placed in foster care or with relatives.
October 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM
A convicted Bulgarian fugitive and human trafficker, responsible for the deaths of 18 Sri Lankan nationals who suffocated in the back of a cargo truck in 1995, has been arrested in Kirkland, where he had been working as a long-haul trucker, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Members of the Marshals-led Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force arrested 58-year-old Plamen Vladimirov Trifonov last week, according to a federal court docket. He is being held pending a Nov. 1 extradition and detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Donohue.
Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal James Adkins, who commands the task force, said Trifonov was arrested after federal law-enforcement authorities determined he had been living in the Seattle area. Adkins said Trifonov immigrated illegally to the U.S. in 2005 and was arrested by U.S. Immigration authorities in 2006. Trifonov was facing deportation, and Adkins said “nobody had a clue” that he had been convicted in 2002 and sentenced to eight years in prison in Bulgaria. At the time, Adkins said, it would not have mattered since Buglaria and the U.S. have only had an extradition treaty since 2009.
February 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM
A King County Superior Court judge has denied a motion filed by Martin Pang seeking additional court documents from the King County Prosecutor’s Office more than 15 years after he was convicted of starting a fire that killed four Seattle firefighters.
Jeffrey Ellis, who is representing the man convicted of setting the fatal 1995 warehouse fire, said he is seeking “to review the entire prosecutor’s file.” Ellis has claimed that documents are being withheld by prosecutors.
For Ellis, the biggest issue in question is Pang’s whereabouts when the fire was set. While prosecutors have always contended that Pang flew up from Los Angeles the day of the fire, Ellis wrote that during his review of some filings he “found several sworn statements, previously filed under seal, which unequivocally stated that Mr. Pang was in Los Angeles when the warehouse fire was set.”
Ellis alleges that Pang was “coerced” into confessing his guilt. Pang’s previous legal team, led by John Henry Browne, also argued that Pang’s confession was coerced. However, Pang stated in court that his confession was true and later pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter.
King County prosecutors have said that the documents Ellis is seeking are private work product, which the state is not required to release.
On Wednesday, King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus, in denying the Pang motion, ruled that she does not have authority to grant a request for discovery when a case is final, Ellis said.
Ellis said he needs to talk to Pang before filing an appeal.
Pang pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 1998, to setting fire to his family’s Chinatown International District warehouse. Prosecutors said he torched the building to collect insurance money.
Lt. Walter Kilgore, 45, Lt. Gregory Shoemaker, 43, and firefighters Randall Terlicker, 35, and James Brown, 25, died when the floor of the frozen-foods warehouse collapsed on Jan. 5, 1995, trapping them inside.
Pang, now 57, was prosecuted after a long and involved extradition battle with Brazil, where he had fled shortly after the blaze.
Pang is serving a 35-year prison sentence at the Monroe Correctional Complex.
“We are disappointed that Mr. Pang has apparently changed his mind and no longer accepts responsibility for the deaths of the four firefighters,” Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said this week.
January 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM
A woman was arrested early Saturday morning by Snohomish C0unty Sheriff’s deputies investigating the death of her boyfriend.
The woman, described as in her 50s, was being held in the county jail on investigation of second-degree manslaughter, according to a statement issued Sunday afternoon by the Snohomish County sheriff’s office.
According to the sheriff’s office, about 12:46 a.m. Satuday deputies responded to the 12100 block of Highway 99 in Everett to assist on an aid call. The caller reported a man down with CPR in progress, and the dispatcher heard “sounds of a disturbance” in the background.
Deputies found “several intoxicated adults,” as well as a man in his 50s who was taken to Swedish Medical Center, where he later died.
November 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM
EVERETT — Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hung his head and sobbed this morning as Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul recounted the moments that led up to his daughter’s death at the hands of his 3-year-old son.
Paul said Carlile, 31, was in a rush to get to a wedding with his family on March 10 when he got into the family’s van, put his off-duty handgun in a cupholder between the front seats and drove to Stanwood to drop off business cards at a friend’s store.
Carlile took the time to engage the car’s child-safety locks when the couple got out of the van at the store, Paul said. But he did not put the gun in his ankle holster, in the glovebox, or in a locking container in the door, she said.
Carlile’s son, Steele, was a curious and active 3-year-old with a fascination with guns and a disdain for car seats, Paul said.
“As you would reasonably expect, Steele got out of his seat, got the gun and shot Jenna,” she said.
Carlile, said Paul, “fully understands and realizes this is all his fault.”
Defense attorney David Allen said Carlile is a dedicated police officer who carried an off-duty weapon so he would be able to “protect the public,” but he was careful to store his gun in a safe and was “very obsessed with gun safety.”
“Derek accepts responsibility, but it will be clear that Derek is not guilty of manslaughter,” said Allen. “He did not act with criminal, gross negligence. This is a terrible accident, but it wasn’t a crime.”
Opening statements this morning marked the start of Carlile’s trial for second-degree manslaughter in the death of his 7-year-old daughter.
According to charging documents, Carlile’s son got out of his booster chair, crawled into the front seat, grabbed the .38-caliber revolver from an open bin and shot his oldest sister once in the abdomen. The girl died later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Allen had sought to have the second-degree manslaughter charge dismissed, arguing that state laws do not address potential criminal penalties for adults who make it possible for children to get their hands on firearms. Allen argued that prosecutors were “trying to stretch the manslaughter statute” to criminalize Carlile’s actions.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne refused to dismiss the charge.
Carlile, who has been with the Marysville Police Department since 2009, has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting
If convicted, he could face a standard sentence range of one year and nine months to two years and three months in prison.
November 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM
The trial of a Marysville police officer who was charged with manslaughter after his 7-year-old daughter was fatally shot by her younger brother in March is expected to begin tomorrow morning in Everett.
Jenna Carlile was shot on March 10 when Officer Derek Carlile, who was off duty, and his wife stopped in Stanwood on their way to a wedding. The couple got out of their minivan, leaving their four children, ages 1 to 7, inside with the loaded .38-caliber revolver.
According to charging documents, Carlile’s 3-year-old son crawled into the front seat, grabbed the handgun from an open bin and shot Jenna once in the abdomen. The girl later died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
In charging documents, prosecutors said that Carlile and his wife told Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives that their son was fascinated by guns and was constantly trying to get into his father’s gun safe at home.
Prosecutors argue that Carlile failed to heed the danger and risk involved in leaving the loaded, unsecured firearm in an enclosed van with four unsupervised children.
Carlile’s attorney, David Allen, has argued that state laws do not address potential criminal penalties for adults who make it possible for children to get their hands on firearms. Carlile did not actively cause his daughter’s death by handing the gun to his son, or by telling the boy to shoot, Allen said in court documents.
Carlile, who has been with the Marysville Police Department since 2009, has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting
If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, he could face a standard sentence range of one year and nine months to two years and three months in prison.
August 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM
An 18-year-old Tukwila man was charged today with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of another man Aug. 1 in Skyway.
Kedric Carter, who is being held in the King County Jail, was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the slaying of 19-year-old Gerard Rogers.
Carter and Rogers were among a large group of friends and family members who had gathered at Carter’s cousin’s apartment in the 13400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, according to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against Carter. Carter apparently went to another apartment in the building, but returned to his cousin’s unit just after 11:30 p.m. to find a man passing around a semi-automatic pistol to others in the living room, the statement says.
“At one point, Carter took possession of the pistol and pointed it at the chest of the seated Rogers,” the statement says. “While doing so, Carter fired the pistol and a single round struck Rogers in the heart, killing him almost instantly.”
Carter’s cousin called 911, but Carter fled in a vehicle before deputies arrived, according to the statement.
After being convicted of second-degree robbery in 2009, Carter was ordered not to possess any firearms.
In February, he was pulled over by a King County sheriff’s deputy north of Burien after he was observed speeding, making lane changes without signaling, failing to stop at a red light and crossing into oncoming traffic, according to court records.
The deputy saw Carter push a brown paper bag under the driver’s seat of the car 2001 Mitsubishi Gallant he was driving, the records say. Carter was arrested, the car was seized and a search warrant was obtained.
Inside the paper bag, detectives found a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen in 2010, court records show. Carter was charged in May with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the records.
On June 7, Carter was granted a conditional release from jail and ordered to report every weekday to the Community Center for Alternative Programs (CCAP) at 400 Yesler Way, according to court records. He failed to show up for two urine-analysis tests but was reinstated to the program on July 10, the records show.
A bench warrant was issued for Carter’s arrest July 26 after several unexcused absences from CCAP classes, court records say.
June 18, 2012 at 1:16 PM
A man arrested last year in connection with the 1978 slaying of an 80-year-old Renton-area woman entered an Alford Plea today to a charge of second-degree manslaughter, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The victim, Arlene Roberts was found Oct. 27, 1978, half-naked on the bed of her tiny trailer, her arms and legs bound with nylon stockings, her mouth gagged and her face covered with a pillow. She had been strangled with a hair net.
For more than three decades, King County sheriff’s detectives had no clue who killed the 80-year-old widow and ransacked the yellow-and-white trailer she’d moved into two days earlier in Bryn Mawr, west of Renton Municipal Airport.
Advances in fingerprint technology led detectives last year to Ronald Wayne MacDonald, a 51-year-old laborer who was charged in September in King County Superior Court with first-degree murder. He was arrested in Reno, Nev.
Prosecutors accepted the plea to the reduced charge after the trial court ruled that significant evidence of possible other suspects in the case would be admitted at trial. The state’s case was also significantly impacted by the loss of key witnesses due to the passage of time, including the original fingerprint examiner who found the suspect’s prints at the scene and the original medical examiner, both of whom are deceased, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.
MacDonald entered an Alford Plea, meaning he he did not admit guilt, but admitted that he would likely be convicted at trial.
MacDonald’s fingerprints were matched to prints left on a traveler’s check, a bank statement and a bank receipt inside Roberts’ trailer, charging papers say.
MacDonald was arrested numerous times for burglary in King County in 1978 and 1979, and in Florida in 1979 and 1980, according to prosecutors. He served time in Washington and Florida prisons in the 1980s and was arrested in Nevada in 1992 and 2001, though the charging documents don’t spell out the reasons for those arrests.
At the time of Roberts’ death, MacDonald was a few days shy of his 18th birthday and was living with family friends about seven blocks from Roberts’ residence in the Lakeshore Manor Mobile Home Park, at 11448 Rainier Ave. S., charging papers say.
April 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM
The Associated Press
TACOMA – A Superior Court judge in Tacoma has sentenced a man to 29 years in prison in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter.
The Pierce County prosecutor’s office says Charles Mann was babysitting Najaiyla Lowe and the couple’s 2-month-old baby while the children’s mother worked on the night of May 9, 2011. He called the mother to say the little girl was in distress and she arrived home to find the child not breathing.
Mann pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault. He was sentenced Friday.
He initially told a sheriff’s deputy the child drowned in the bathtub while he was tending the baby in another room. However, the Pierce County medical examiner determined the little girl died from internal bleeding caused by hit in her abdomen.
March 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Pierce County prosecutors this morning filed second-degree manslaughter charges against a man and a woman in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself with the man’s handgun on March 14 in Tacoma.
The boy, Julio Segura-McIntosh, shot himself while in a minivan at a gas station when the man was outside the vehicle and the boys’ mother was inside the convenience store. The man had a concealed weapons permit and had left the handgun in the minivan when he went to pump gas, police said.
Charged were the boy’s mother, Jahnisha McIntosh, 22, and her friend, Eric Vita, 23. They turned themselves in last night and will be arraigned this afternoon in Tacoma.
Vita told investigators that he left the handgun in the minivan because the last time he was at a gas station the clerk spotted the handgun in his waistband and summoned police, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
McIntosh’s friends and family told detectives that Vita routinely showed off the gun. On one occasion, Vita allegedly offered to let Julio hold the gun before another adult intervened, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The boy’s death was the third accidental shooting of child in three weeks in Western Washington.
On March 10, Jenna Carlile, the 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer, died after she was shot by her younger brother while they were alone in the family car in Stanwood. The father, Officer Derek Carlisle, had left a handgun in the vehicle and was standing outside with his wife when the shooting occurred, according to police.
On Feb. 22, 9-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman was critically wounded at an East Bremerton elementary school after a gun in a classmate’s backpack accidentally discharged. A 9-year-old boy told police he had taken the gun from the home of his mother and her boyfriend.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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