Friday, March 14, 2008

2 Sentenced in West Virginia Torture Case

This is insane. After all of the things they did to that girl this is all the time they got. West Virginia is a effed up place to live. That's all.


2 Sentenced in W.Va. Torture Case

LOGAN, W.Va. — Two people accused of taking part in the torture of a young black woman received the maximum sentence possible Thursday, but the victim's mother said it wasn't enough.

Karen Burton, 46, and Frankie Brewster, 49, both pleaded guilty last month for their roles in the kidnapping and assault of Megan Williams last summer. They were among seven white defendants charged in the case.

Logan County Circuit Judge Roger Perry sentenced Burton to 10 years for violating Williams' civil rights. She also received separate 2 to 10 year sentences for assault charges. All three sentences will be served consecutively. Brewster received a 10-to-25-year sentence for second-degree sexual assault.

Williams and her parents wept as the sentences were read.

"I just believe he (prosecutor Brian Abraham) shouldn't have plea bargained with any of them," said Williams' mother, Carmen, after the sentencing. "She (Megan Williams) wanted them to do life."

Megan Williams, wearing dark sunglasses and a large black coat, made no statement.

Malik Shabazz, a founder of Washington, D.C.-based Black Lawyers for Justice, also decried the sentences. He called for a special state prosecutor and renewed involvement by federal authorities.

"I don't understand what happened here in Logan County and why they don't take what happens to our people seriously," Shabazz said.

The judge said during the brief, sparsely attended hearing that he was giving the maximum sentence in each case.

According to Department of Corrections officials, Burton must spend at least six years and six months in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Brewster must serve at least 10 years before being considered for parole.

Authorities say Williams was held captive for several days last summer at Brewster's trailer in Big Creek. In addition to the beatings and assaults, authorities said Williams was forced to eat animal feces and was stabbed. The 21-year-old woman was rescued by sheriff's deputies on Sept. 8 after they received an anonymous tip.

Two other defendants already have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Burton's daughter, Alisha, 23, and George Messer, 27, both pleaded guilty in February to kidnapping and assault and received 10-year sentences.

Felony charges including kidnapping and sexual assault are pending against Brewster's son, Bobby, 24, and Danny Combs, 21. A seventh defendant, Karen Burton's son, Linnie Burton Jr., 21, was indicted on a misdemeanor battery charge.

The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name. Carmen Williams has said she wanted people to know what her daughter had endured.

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