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Archive for Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Additional charges filed in torture case

September 19, 2007

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— Prosecutors filed amended felony charges Tuesday in the case of a woman tortured for days in rural West Virginia, changes that mean the six defendants could face life in prison if convicted.

Graphic details of the crime were described in court for the first time. Carmen Williams, the woman's mother, left a hearing in Logan County Magistrate Court in tears after listening to the allegations.

Magistrate Jeffrey Lane referred the case against Frankie Brewster, 49, to a grand jury for action. She owns the home where the suspected assault took place. In addition to charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and giving false information to police, the prosecutor filed three counts of misdemeanor battery against Brewster and dropped a charge of unlawful wounding.

All six defendants now face charges of kidnapping, which carries a maximum life sentence. Four of the defendants had faced only lesser charges before Tuesday's filings.

The six, all white, are accused of assaulting Megan Williams, who is black, for more than a week at a ramshackle trailer in Big Creek.

Police say Williams, 20, was tortured, sexually assaulted, forced to eat animal feces and taunted with a racial slur. Her ordeal ended when an anonymous tip led police to the home Sept. 8.

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