Naeem Williams apologizes for fatally beating daughter

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A former soldier facing the death penalty for killing his 5-year-old daughter read a written statement to jurors Wednesday as they prepare to consider his punishment.

The statement was one of three options for Naeem Williams to communicate with jurors during the sentencing phase of the trial; he could have also testified with cross-examination or chosen to stay silent.

Williams spoke for seven minutes, with long pauses and occasional sniffles. Here are some excerpts from Williams' statement:

APOLOGIZING: "I asked for a chance to speak to you one more time because I want you all to know how sorry I am for the terrible things I did. Talia deserved a better father than me. Instead of helping and protecting Talia, I hurt and I killed her."

HURT: "I feel ashamed for all the suffering I caused my daughter. I can see the hurt that I caused Tarshia (Williams, Talia's mother). I can see all of the hurt that I caused Talia, who just wanted to be loved and be happy. I can't do anything to take that hurt away. All I can tell you is that I see it and that I caused it."

FATHERHOOD: "I'm trying to be a good father to (my other children). I'm trying to do what is right with them since I did not do that with Talia. I'm asking that you let me live so that I can try to be that father for (them) that I never was for Talia."

The jury is expected to sentence Williams to either death or life in prison. The jurors are expected to begin deliberating next week after closing statements Friday.

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