A former Schofield-Barracks-based soldier was convicted Thursday of murder in the death of his five-year-old daughter.
Naeem Williams is accused of beating his daughter, Talia Williams, to death on July 16, 2005. According to court documents, Williams hit his daughter because she wet herself.
A jury found Williams guilty on five counts — murder, aiding murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Aiding murder means Williams was 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, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“It’s been nine long years waiting for this day to finally come and I’m just so overwhelmed and happy,” said Talia’s biological mother, Tarshia Williams. “There were a couple of times I had to even walk out, it was so hard. But I had to stay in there, I had to do it for (my daughter) because it’s all about her.”
In court, Williams acknowledged he was the last one to strike the girl before she was taken to the hospital, where she later died. He also admitted to lying to investigators when he was first questioned about her injuries.
The same jury will now decide whether or not Williams will receive the death penalty. While Hawaii does not allow the death penalty, the alleged murder occurred at Wheeler Army Airfield, which is military property and under federal jurisdiction.
Williams filed a motion in 2007 attempting to move the case to military court under violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or in state court. The court denied the motion for a number of reasons including the charges were brought against both a soldier and a civilian which could not be held in military court.
The trial’s sentencing phase begins Tuesday.
- Mother of slain daughter speaks out after verdict – Apr. 24, 2014
- Murder trial closes for former Schofield soldier, jury decision pending – Apr. 22, 2014
- Murder trial begins for former Schofield soldier over daughter’s death – Mar. 11, 2014