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Sentencing phase underway in Williams death penalty trial

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. HST, May 28, 2014

Tarshia Williams says the death of her 5-year-old daughter Talia at the hands of the girl's father, Naeem Williams, in 2005 still makes her feel angry, sad and hurt.

In U.S. District Court Wednesday morning — addressing the jury that found Naeem Williams guilty of capital murder in the beating death of the girl and eligible for the death penalty — Tarshia Williams said, "My daughter's death affected me in so many ways." She added, "I just wish that I could have her back."

The jury is now being asked whether Naeem Williams should be executed or sentenced to life in prison without possibility for release. The sentencing phase began Wednesday with opening statements.

Tarshia Williams was the only government witness in the sentencing phase of the former Schofield Barracks soldier's trial. Her brief testimony was limited to the impact her daughter's death has had on her life. Previously, she testified during the guilt phase.

Defense lawyers have lined up more than 30 witness to testify in favor of a lifelong prison sentence.

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