Defense asking for mistrial in death penalty case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Defense asking for mistrial in death penalty case

Naeem Williams Naeem Williams

The jury took just one full day to find Naeem Williams guilty of killing his 5-year old daughter but the same jury has already taken six full days to decide if he should die for the crime.  And his attorneys say that is too long.

The defense team filed a motion for a mistrial citing 'extraordinarily long deliberations'. 

"I don't think there's any weight to this motion at all," says legal expert Victor Bakke.

Other factors in the motion for a mistrial, interruptions in deliberations.  Scheduling issues forced the jury to take a five day weekend earlier this month and they are currently taking a six day weekend, with deliberations set to resume on Thursday.

Williams' team says those breaks allowed jurors access to outside influences.  And they say a juror violated court orders by posting information online.  The motion doesn't detail the claim but asks that all the jurors be questioned about it.

The prosecution did respond to the motion, saying there is no indication that the jury is deadlocked.

"This is just an attempt to take the case away from the jury," says Bakke who says the defense is trying to take the decision out of the jury's hands and force the judge to hand down a sentence of life in prison. 

Naeem Williams was convicted of murder for the 2005 beating death of his daughter Talia.  He admitted to beating her every day for months after getting custody of the girl.

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