Naeem Williams death penalty case moves closer to conclusion

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Lawyers are making their last arguments to jurors in the sentencing eligibility phase of the trial of Naeem Williams, who was convicted last month in the 2005 beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Talia.

Prosecutors said Thursday Williams intended to inflict severe physical pain and suffering on his daughter. They say that intent makes Williams eligible for the death penalty.

Defense lawyers say Williams' violent actions were intended to discipline his daughter for urinating on herself. Williams' lawyer Michael Burt argues Williams was mentally impaired.

Williams faces the death penalty even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957. Because the crime took place on military property, the case is in the federal justice system, which allows for the death penalty.

Deliberations are expected to follow the closing arguments.

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