In February, defendants Alisha Burton and George Messer both pleaded guilty to assault and kidnapping and were each sentenced to 10 years. Yesterday, after pleading guilty, Frankie Brewster (who owned the trailer in which Williams was held captive and is the mother of another defendant, Bobby Brewster) was sentenced to 10-25 years for second-degree sexual assault, and Karen Burton (Alisha's mother) was sentenced to 10 years for violating Williams' civil rights and two 2-10-year sentences for assault, which will be served consecutively.. Brewster will be eligible for parole in 10 years, and Burton after 6 ½.
Needless to say, the sentences hardly seem sufficient, not only because of the duration and horror of what Williams was put through, but also because of the defendants' criminal histories. At the time, Logan County (West Virginia) Sheriff W.E. Hunter said: "They all have previous records and have been arrested numerous times. They are familiar to law enforcement." Frankie Brewster, for example, had already served five years after pleading down a first-degree murder charge to manslaughter.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Update: Unspeakably, Unimaginably Weak Justice
Megan Williams, about whom I wrote last year, is a young black woman whom several career criminals kidnapped, raped, and brutally tortured for days in a West Virginia mobile home. After her story took some tragic twists and turns that included the victim herself being prosecuted for writing bad checks (heartbreakingly, to a pizza place and a children's clothing store), Megan has finally realized a small measure of justice. And it is small, especially considering the magnitude and hatefulness of the violent crimes involved, but it is something. Melissa writes:
Posted by Deborah Newell at 6:19 PM