Amended charges were filed Tuesday against five of six white defendants accused of torturing a black woman for days in rural West Virginia, the graphic details of which were described for the first time in court.
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.
The six people charged, all of them 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.
The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name. Carmen Williams said she wanted people to know what her daughter had endured.
Reading from a statement Williams gave deputies that day, Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Robinette said Williams had been stabbed with what she described as a butcher knife and beaten with wooden sticks and fly swatters. He said the woman was sexually assaulted, doused with hot water and taunted with racial slurs.
Two of her captors forced her to drink a cup of their urine, Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Goodman testified.
Deputies are still trying to determine how long Williams was held.
Suspects afraid to let woman go?
In a statement to deputies, Brewster detailed her role and implicated others, saying “I just want to come clean.” Brewster also is accused of forcing Williams to perform oral sex on her.
Goodman testified that Brewster told deputies that the six were afraid to let Williams go because she might tell on them. They also talked about killing her.
Danny J. Combs, 20, now faces a kidnapping charge that carries life in prison. He originally was charged with sexual assault and malicious wounding. Prosecutors added two more sexual assault charges.
Kidnapping and sexual assault charges, along with additional counts of battery, were filed against Karen Burton, 46, her daughter, Alisha; and George A. Messer, 27, all of Chapmanville.
Karen Burton had been charged earlier with malicious wounding, battery and assault during the commission of a felony. Alisha Burton, 23, and Messer were charged earlier with assault during the commission of a felony and battery.
A hearing for Brewster’s son, Bobby Brewster, 24, was held Monday in Logan County Circuit Court. He is charged kidnapping, sexual assault, malicious wounding and assault during the commission of a felony. Police have said he had a previous relationship with Williams.