Sentencing phase begins in death penalty trial

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jurors will hear from almost a dozen medical experts who examined a former soldier convicted of killing his 5-year old daughter.

Naeem Williams could get the death penalty for torturing Talia Williams in the months leading up to her death.  She died on July 16, 2005 after another brutal beating, it was the second that day.

The sentencing phase of the trial could take another two weeks as the same jury that convicted Naeem will decide if he lives or dies for the crimes.

In his opening arguments Tuesday, Naeem's attorney told the jury they will hear a lot of testimony about Naeem's intelligence level during the sentencing phase.  He barely passed the military exam and scored lower than one percent of the population on other tests.

There will also be testimony about Naeem's upbringing, particularly how he was disciplined as a child.

Even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957, Williams faces the death penalty because it's a federal case. The fatal beating occurred on military property, allowing Williams to be tried in federal court.

Hawaii's last recorded execution was in 1944.

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