Posted March 3, 2008 – The parents of a young Black woman who was kidnapped, raped and tortured by six Whites at a rural West Virginia trailer home say the prosecutor gave her assaulters a slap on the wrist and their daughter a slap in the face.
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"We were OK with the first two deals that [Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham] made with Alisha Burton and George Messer, but then he started getting up to plea deals with Karen Burton and Frankie Brewster,'' said Carmen Williams, the mother of the alleged victim, referring to four of the defendants. "I think they should have gotten, to be honest, life in prison. We were very dissatisfied.'' Carmen and Matthew Williams, the mother and father of 20-year-old Megan Williams spoke out at a news conference last week at the First Baptist Church in Charleston .
Megan Williams told police that the six suspects, during a weeklong nightmare in early September, stabbed, sexually assaulted and forced her to eat animal feces. Logan County sheriff’s deputies rescued her after answering an anonymous call to look into the goings on at a raggedy mobile home in Brewster, W.V. Deputies say that when they arrived Megan Williams staggered to the door, bloody and disheveled, and gasped, “Help me.”
Initially, Karen Burton and her daughter, Alisha Burton, Brewster and Messer all faced kidnapping charges, which carry a sentence of life. Alisha Burton and Messer both pleaded guilty to kidnapping and assault and were given 10-year terms.
Frankie Brewster, the 49-year-old woman, who owned the home and whose son allegedly forced Megan Williams to perform oral sex on her, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault, which carries a 10- to 25-year prison term. She will be sentenced on March 12.
Karen Burton, 46, is the only one who was slapped with a hate-crime charge, which if she is ordered to serve consecutively, could mean 30 years behind bars for her. Her charges of malicious wounding, assault and violating Williams' civil rights, involve her telling Megan Williams, “This is what we do to niggers down here,” as she stabbed her in the ankle with a knife. She is scheduled to be sentenced today.
A tearful Matthew Williams broke down after leaving the podium, The Associated Press reported.
"To me, what's going on here is a slap in Megan's face. Not mine, but Megan's. They promised her one thing, and then destroyed it,'' he said. The Williams family is organizing a protest beginning today at the Logan County Courthouse. A car pool will leave First Baptist Church at 8 a.m. "We want to impact the city of Logan with our presence, and we want to see justice served,'' Bishop James Carter, the family's pastor, told AP.
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