Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Simply sickening

What is WRONG with people? For the life of me, I can not understand how people could be so filled with hatred to behave like this. Its sickening and heart braking.
Woman Wants Accused Torturers to 'Fry'
Posted: 2007-10-24 14:00:13

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Oct. 23) - Megan Williams thought she was going to a party.That is why she tagged along with a woman she says she hardly knew, up a remote West Virginia hollow to a run-down trailer surrounded by beer cans and broken-down furniture.

"But there wasn't no party," Williams told the Associated Press in one of her first public interviews since the arrest of six people now accused of becoming her captors. "I realized I'd made a bad mistake."

For days, the 20-year-old black woman was allegedly tortured, beaten, forced to eat feces - rat, dog and human - and raped by six white men and women who held her until Sept. 8.

A passer-by heard cries from the shed where she had been kept, and Logan County sheriff's deputies found her hours later.

Seated in a rocking chair in her mother's living room, about 50 miles from that shed, the slight woman says she was outnumbered by people who just wanted to hurt a black person."

They just kept saying 'This is what we do to niggers down here'," she recalls." I just hope they fry for what they did to me. That's really all I got to say," she says when asked what should become of her captors.

West Virginia does not have a state death penalty, but the six could spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted of rape and kidnapping charges. Kidnapping carries a possible life sentence in West Virginia. Sexual assault is a crime punishable by up to 35 years in prison.

Williams and her family want the torture prosecuted as a hate crime, but no such charges have been filed by state or federal prosecutors. In West Virginia, a hate crime carries only a 10-year maximum penalty.

Prosecutors also say hate crime charges could complicate their case. Hate crimes are typically prosecuted in situations involving strangers, they say, and Williams knew one of the suspects before her captivity.

Megan's adoptive mother, Carmen Williams, says her daughter was trusting. "She's a little slow, so it's kinda hard for her to comprehend sometimes," she said. "So I think that played a big part in it." Carmen Williams will not disclose Megan's IQ but says she is "not at full capacity."

When Megan Williams does detail her alleged torture, it comes in fits. Horrifying, disjointed memories of all that she allegedly endured spill forth while she fidgets and frowns.

"They braided some switches together and beat me across the back when I was pickin' peas out the field. They tore my clothes off of me and everything, and then they took me up to the lake and they said that was the place they were going to cut my throat and throw me in, and I was never coming back to see my family again," she said.

She looks off into the distance at the end of each recollection. She often falls quiet, reverting to yes and no answers. At times she reaches up to touch her scalp, where her hair was cut off and yanked out during her ordeal.

For legal and mental health reasons, there are some details Williams has been advised not to discuss, such as the timeline of her captivity, the more graphic details of her experience and what, if any relationship she had with the defendants before the assaults. However, suspects in the case outline a series of sexual crimes.

Statements from Frankie Brewster and her son Bobby Brewster allege that Williams was forced to perform oral sex on Frankie Brewster under threat of death, that she was forced to perform oral sex on Danny Combs at knifepoint, that she was made to lick their toes, raped and humiliated.

It was that fear that led her to cut her duct-tape constraints with a knife she ferreted away, and hang her tiny arms out of the small window of the shed she was kept in, yelling for help.

Williams says "a guy named Eddie" heard her calls, and she believes he called for help. Within hours, deputies responded to an anonymous tip, and came to the Brewster trailer asking for Williams by name. She has no doubt that if the police had not shown up, she would be dead.

Charges against the six suspects are expected to go before a grand jury in January.

The defendants are: Bobby Brewster, 24; mother Frankie Brewster, 49; Combs, 20; Karen Burton, 46; Burton's daughter, Alisha Burton, 23; and George A. Messer, 27.

A coalition of civil rights organizations and black leaders are now uniting behind the Williams family, and it is receiving legal counsel from Black Lawyers for Justice co-founder Malik Shabazz.

"This case deserves national concern and national outrage," Shabazz said. "Megan Williams' case is 10 times, maybe 50 times, worse than what happened in Jena, Louisiana."

Hundreds are expected to attend a hate crime awareness march in Charleston on Nov. 3, an event endorsed by civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Conference of Black Mayors and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

On the Internet, a group supporting Williams has more than 230,000 members. Healing, however, has been a slow process. Williams has received hundreds of cards and gifts from as far away as Iraq. She hopes to use donations to her trust fund to obtain a high school diploma and attend university. She speaks of becoming a nurse's assistant.

She is slowly gaining weight, and her face lights up when asked about her favorite food."Ribs," she says, grinning. Then she looks to her mother and laughs.

Yet there are large scabs on her left leg, where her ankle was cut and her thigh was stabbed three times. She walks with a slight limp.

The nights are still difficult, she says, as memories of the abuse she suffered come in the form of terrifying dreams. Thankfully, she usually awakens to find her mother lying next to her.

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