Jury weighs death penalty for former HI soldier

  • Article by: CATHY BUSSEWITZ
  • Associated Press
  • May 22, 2014 - 8:20 PM

HONOLULU — Jurors began deliberations in the sentencing-eligibility phase of the trial of Naeem Williams, who was convicted last month in the 2005 beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Talia.

Lawyers made their final arguments Thursday.

Prosecutors say Williams intended to inflict severe physical pain and suffering on his daughter. They say that intent makes Williams eligible for the death penalty.

Defense lawyers say Williams' violent actions were intended to discipline his daughter for urinating on herself. Williams' lawyer, Michael Burt, argues that Williams was mentally impaired. He says that makes Williams ineligible for the death sentence.

Williams faces the death penalty even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957. Because the crime took place on military property, the case is in the federal justice system, which allows for the death penalty.

© 2018 Star Tribune