A minute into his testimony Naeem Williams reached for a tissue.
"Are you prepared to discuss what happened and why?" defense attorney John Phillipsborn asked.
"Yes sir," Williams answered, choking back tears.
Williams said he met Delilah Williams in 2002. Despite a rocky relationship they got married. He enlisted in the Army. He told the court he had never spent a day alone with his daughter, Talia, but he and Delilah got custody of the child in 2004.
"It was expected of me," he said. "I thought I was ready."
Williams talked about Talia's bladder and bowel control problems and how she had accidents.
"It wasn't a big deal to me. I talked to her about it," he said.
He said he told her, "You're a big girl now. Try to make it to the bathroom."
But he said eventually he started to punish Talia for soiling herself by hitting her.
"It was sometime toward the end of 2004," he told the jury.
Williams, 34, is an ex-Schofield soldier. He's charged with murdering Talia in July of 2005 after months of physical abuse with a belt, a ruler and his fists.
Delilah Williams admits beating her five-year-old step daughter. She testified against her husband in exchange for a 20-year sentence.
If Naeem Williams is convicted he could face the death penalty.