Two White Women Sentenced in Kidnapping, Torture of Black Woman in West Virginia

Two women accused of taking part in the torture of a young black woman received the maximum sentences 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 dayslong assault of Megan Williams last summer. They were among seven white defendants charged in the case.

Burton used racial slurs while she stabbed and assaulted Williams. Logan County Circuit Judge Roger Perry sentenced her to 10 years for violating Williams' civil rights and two sentences of two to 10 years for assault. The sentences will be served consecutively.

Brewster received a 10-to-25-year sentence for second-degree sexual assault. Williams had been forced to perform oral sex on her.

Williams and her parents wept as the sentences were read. Brewster will be eligible for parole in 10 years, and Burton must serve at least six and a half years, according to Department of Corrections officials.

"I just believe he (prosecutor Brian Abraham) shouldn't have plea bargained with any of them," Williams' mother, Carmen, said after the sentencings. "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.

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.

Abraham has been called up to active military duty. Prosecutor Robert Ilderton, who has taken over the case, said the Williams family had "expressed their gratitude to Mr. Abraham, in the media and in conversation," when Burton and Brewster pleaded guilty.

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.