HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In Hawaii's first ever capital murder case, a split among jurors means the father of five year old Talia Williams will not be put to death for her 2005 killing in their home at the Wheeler Army Airfield.
After seven days of deliberations the jury was deadlocked. 8 wanted death.
4 wanted a life term.
Some jurors cried when the judge announced the sentence. The emotional toll on jurors was clear as they exited court, and faced cameras.
Earlanne Leslie of Hilo said, " It was just very hard. I felt peace for Talia.
Kauai juror Clarence Kaona wanted death for Williams and said, "We kind of let her down."
Many politely passed on media interviews, eager to put the trial and life or death decision behind them.
Kaona explained, "It was very hard and even till the last day a lot of us were one way or the other. 2/3 or us were for death. 1/3 for life."
Jurors told us Naeem Williams' stoic expression, despite graphic pictures and testimony about beating his daughter daily, weighed heavily on their decision.
"Everybody thought about that" said Kaona. "Every day he was pretty much the same. That was a lot of consideration."
During the trial, Talia's stepmother Delilah gave blunt, matter of fact accounts of beating the girl with her husband, as part of a plea deal and proposed 20 year sentence.
Some jurors took issue with that, in deciding the ex-Schofield soldier's fate.
Leslie said, "Speaking for myself, yes I think, it wasn't fair. She should have gotten more. Yeah."
While the 12 jurors could not unanimously decide on life or death, they all agreed on the hardest part of the trial.
Kaona answered with a lump in his throat, "The pictures. The hardest part. Picturing her duct taped. I will never get that out of my mind. Justice for the mom. We kind of let her down."
Leslie added that seeing Williams' other kids come in to testify was tough too.
Talia's birth mom Tarshia was not in court, but expressed satisfaction that Naeem Williams has been sentenced for killing their daughter, even if it's taken nine long years.
The jury filled out a 40 page verdict form. It includes mitigating factors such as Williams' relationship with his two other kids, whether his life has value to them, history of abuse by his own mom, and whether they felt he intended to kill Talia.
Read Naeem Williams juror verdict form: http://bit.ly/1rIHngz