Jurors reach verdict in Hawaii death penalty case

Naeem Williams (Courtroom sketch: Wayne Takazono)
Naeem Williams (Courtroom sketch: Wayne Takazono)

HONOLULU (AP) – Jurors have reached a decision on whether a former Hawaii soldier convicted of killing his 5-year-old daughter will be sentenced to death or life in prison.

But the verdict won’t be read until Friday morning because jurors say they’re “emotionally drained.”

The jury will return to court at 9 a.m. and verdict will be read thereafter, according to the chief deputy clerk.

Naeem Williams’ death penalty trial is the first in the history of Hawaii’s statehood.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright accepted the verdict Thursday, sealed it and excused the jury for the day.

In April, the same jury found Williams guilty of capital murder in his daughter Talia’s 2005 beating death. He says he beat the child often to discipline her for bathroom accidents.

Hawaii’s territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957. But Williams was tried in the federal justice system, which allows the death penalty.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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