For Tarshia Williams, Thursday was a happy day. There hasn’t been many of those since the death of her daughter, Talia, nine years ago.
Naeem Williams, Talia’s father, was convicted Thursday of murder for beating the five-year-old to death in July 2005. The former Schofield-Barracks-based soldier was also convicted of aiding murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements.
Following the verdict, Tarshia Williams walked out of federal court and said she was overwhelmed and happy that this day has come. She says it’s because justice has been finally served for her daughter.
“She can go rest now, being that her killer is guilty of what he did to her, because God knows he did all those terrible things to my daughter,” Tarshia Williams said.
For the past six weeks, Tarshia Williams sat through the trial, listening to agonizing testimony of how Naeem Williams tortured and repeatedly abused the little girl. His wife, Delilah, also admitted to beating Talia and is now serving a 20-year sentence after cooperating with prosecutors.
As difficult as it’s been listening to the testimony, Tarshia Williams says she will continue to sit through the penalty phase.
“It will still be difficult because it’s still about my daughter, but I’m going to be there every day,” she said.
Hawaii does not have the death penalty because the state abolished it in 1957. But since the crime occurred at Wheeler Army Airfield, which is military property, prosecutors pursued it under federal law.
More testimony will be presented in court and it will be up to the same jury of 12 people to decide if Naeem Williams deserves to be put to death.
When asked about Naeem Williams’ punishment, Tarshia Williams refused to speculate. “I don’t have a comment on that. It’s whatever they decide,” she said.
Tarshia Williams plans to visit her daughter’s gravesite in South Carolina when the trial is over and celebrate justice after nine years of waiting.
“I’m going to go to her gravesite and have a little memorial and release about nine balloons and just say yes, Talia, justice finally got served,” she said.
The penalty phase of the trial starts on Tuesday. Experts say that could also last several weeks.
- Former Schofield soldier found guilty of daughter’s murder – Apr. 24, 2014