POSTED: 11:41 a.m. HST, Apr 02, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 07:46 p.m. HST, Apr 02, 2014
Former Schofield Barracks soldier Naeem Williams, in his second day on the witness stand, said he never consulted a doctor to find out why his daughter Talia had trouble with bladder and bowel control.
Williams, 34, is on trial in U.S. District Court for capital murder for the July 16, 2005, child abuse beating death of 5-year-old Talia. He is facing the death penalty.
Williams testified Tuesday that he started physically disciplining his daughter for soiling herself in late-December 2004. This morning he said that he never consulted a doctor to find out why Talia was soiling herself.
"That's something I should have looked into," he said.
A doctor who had examined Talia when she was still living in South Carolina said Talia couldn't tell if and when she needed to use the bathroom.
Williams also said he brought his daughter into his household at a time when there was a lot of tension between him and his wife.
"I brought Talia to a, into a somewhat chaotic environment. My house wasn't fit for her to come at that time," he said.
In retrospect, he said he wished he would have told his grandmother, who was caring for Talia in South Carolina, and his mother that Talia shouldn't come to Hawaii to live with him and his wife.
Williams said he and his wife Delilah started beating Talia because of her bathroom accidents. But later, he said it seemed as though they were beating Talia in frustration over the conflicts in their own relationship.
"It's like all of our issues were being directed towards Talia," he said.
Williams was on the witness stand to talk about beating his daughter Talia with a plastic ruler and a belt, when the judge overseeing the trial said Wednesday that it seems he was coached on how to testify.
When Williams started reflecting on what would have happened if he didn't bring Talia to live with him in Hawaii, the prosecution objected and U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright quickly sent out the jury.
Seabright said "retrospective" testimony is "very prejudicial to the government" and it seems Williams was coached because his testimony mirrors his defense attorney's opening statement.
Prosecutors say Talia suffered months of abuse at the hands of her father and stepmother during the seven months the child lived with them. But they say that it was Williams who dealt a fatal blow so hard that it left knuckle impressions on the child's chest.
The prosecution's final witness, the medical examiner who conducted Talia's autopsy, completed her testimony last week. Dr. Kanthi De Alwis said Talia had a multitude of fresh and healing injuries, including a dislocated shoulder and fractured ribs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.