Hawaii death penalty case focuses on prison life

By OSKAR GARCIA
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Two former inmates who spent time with a man facing a death sentence for killing his 5-year-old daughter say he avoided trouble while behind bars in Honolulu.

The inmates testified Tuesday during the sentencing phase for a former Hawaii soldier convicted of beating his daughter Talia to death. Jurors are considering whether to sentence Naeem Williams to death or life in prison. Williams could be the first person on the islands sentenced to death since Hawaii became a state in 1959.

Allen Gomes, a former inmate in the same unit as Williams in Honolulu Federal Detention Center, says he ate with Williams and watched as Williams avoided a confrontation with another inmate who was trying to provoke him.

Another former inmate, Jomorrious Briscoe, says Williams was like a brother.

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