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Williams described in death penalty trial as 'gentle'

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:50 p.m. HST, May 29, 2014

Naeem Williams's sister told a federal court jury Thursday morning that her brother is "extremely gentle and kind" and that he avoids confrontation.

The former Schofield Barracks soldier, is facing a death sentence in connection with the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter Talia in his military family quarters at Wheeler Army Airfield in 2005 through child abuse and after months of assault and torture.

Uylessa Muse, Williams's youngest sister, testified in favor of her 34-year-old brother getting a life prison sentence rather that the death penalty.

Muse said she has seen her older brother involved in just one potentially confrontational incident. Once, while the siblings were growing up, she recalled, some boys wanted to take her brother's sneakers. Muse said the boys took the sneakers because Williams didn't fight back.

The jury that found Naeem Williams guilty of capital murder and eligible for the death penalty is now being asked whether he should be executed or sentenced to life in prison without possibility for release. 

The sentencing phase, which began Wednesday with opening statements and testimony from Talia's mother, Tarshia Williams -- the only government witness in the trial's sentencing phase. Her brief testimony was limited to the impact her daughter's death has had on her life. Previously, she testified during the guilt phase.

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