MOUNT VERNON, Wash., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A Washington state couple face life prison terms if convicted of killing their adopted daughter after following a book advocating corporal punishment.
The homicide-by-abuse trial of Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., is to begin May 7, 2012, in the death of 13-year-old Hana Williams. The couple pleaded not guilty and are free on bail.
Carri Williams had praised "To Train Up a Child," written by fundamentalist Christian minister Michael Pearl and his wife, Debi Pearl, a Skagit County, Wash., sheriff's report said.
The book advises parents to use a 1/4-inch flexible plumbing line to spank children. The plumbing line, which the book recommends be cut into 15-inch lengths, "can be rolled up and carried in your pocket," the book says.
It suggests withholding food -- "a little fasting is good training" -- and hosing down children for behavior lapses.
Police and prosecutors also linked the book to two other child deaths -- Sean Paddock, 4, of Raleigh, N.C., and Lydia Schatz, 7, of Paradise, Calif. -- whose parents allegedly read it.
Hana Williams was found face down, naked and emaciated in her family's backyard May 12. Her death was caused by hypothermia and malnutrition, officials determined.
She had been beaten earlier in the day with the 15-inch plastic tube Peale's book recommended, the sheriff's affidavit stated.
Attorney Rachel Forde, who represents Larry Williams, told The Seattle Times the jury would see "a much different picture" of the death when it considers the evidence "unfiltered by the prosecutor's lens."