Army Soldier Naeem Williams, 34, will receive a life sentence for murdering his five-year-old daughter, Talia Williams, after a federal jury in Honolulu, Hawaii, reported today it was unable to reach a unanimous decision on whether to impose the death penalty.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni of the District of Hawaii made the announcement.
The jury previously found Williams guilty of killing his daughter on July 16, 2005, by engaging in child abuse that included beating and punching her at the family’s residence on Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu. Williams was also convicted of participating, along with his wife, Delilah Williams, in a pattern and practice of assault and torture from December, 2004, until July 16, 2005, that resulted in Talia’s death. In addition, Williams was convicted of conspiring to engage in a pattern and practice of assault and torture leading to death, obstructing justice, and making false statements to Army Criminal Investigation Division agents on the night of his arrest in July 2005.
The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Naeem Williams and his wife Delilah Williams beat Talia Williams almost daily. Naeem Williams testified that the abuse was aimed at disciplining his daughter as a result of bathroom accidents and was exacerbated due to frustrations he was experiencing in his marriage. The evidence indicated the defendant’s physical abuse included punching Talia repeatedly, commanding her to eat her own feces, and using duct tape to bind her from head to toe to a bed post where she was whipped with a belt. In the hours preceding Talia’s death, Williams struck a frontal blow to Talia and her head slammed backwards against the floor. Talia then appeared to have a seizure.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Army Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Steve Mellin from the Capital Case Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching.