POSTED: 1:49 p.m. HST, Jun 3, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 2:01 p.m. HST, Jun 3, 2014
A retired federal prison warden told a U.S. District Court jury Tuesday morning that if former Schofield Barracks soldier Naeem Williams is spared the death sentence he will likely adjust well to spending the rest of his life behind bars and could make a positive contribution to the prison system.
Williams, 34, is facing the death penalty in connection with the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter Talia in 2005 at their military family quarters at Wheeler Army Airfield.
The jury that found him guilty of two counts of capital murder last month is now being asked to decide whether Williams should get the death penalty for the offenses or sentenced to life in prison without possibility for release. The trail's sentencing phase testimony got underway on Wednesday.
Mark Bezy said he believes Williams will adjust well to life behind bars based on his record at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, where Williams was in custody for about a about a year, and his record at the Federal Detention Center here, where he has been in custody for the balance of his nine years of pretrial incarceration.
Bezy served as warden at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex in Indiana before he retired and started his own correctional consulting business.
"He's going to go through some difficulties," Bezy said, but noted that he sees no reason that Williams won't adjust.
Among those difficulties, he said, will be some inmates looking down on Williams because of the nature of his crimes. Bezy added that white prison groups are most aggressive in "clearing the yard of certain kind of offenders." But, he said, over time Williams could gain the respect of other inmates.