Tuesday, November 24, 2015         

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No decision from death penalty jury after day 2 of deliberations

By Star-Advertiser staff


The jurors in the Naeem J. Williams death penalty trial ended a second day of deliberation Friday with no decision on whether or not the former Schofield Barracks soldier lives or dies.

Williams, 34, is facing a possible death sentence for killing his 5-year-old daughter Talia in their Wheeler Army Airfield family quarters in 2005. The U.S. District Court jurors who are deciding his sentence have already found Williams guilty of capital murder under federal law and eligible for the death penalty.

They will resume their deliberation Tuesday.

Before going home for the weekend, the jurors had another question for the court. They sent Judge J. Michael Seabright a note asking him by what standard are they to judge whether or not Talia's mother, Tarshia Williams, suffered injury, harm and loss from the death of her daughter.

The effect Talia's murder has had on her mother is one of seven factors prosecutors want the jurors to consider in favor of returning a death sentence. 

Seabright's note in response to the question says injury, harm and loss can be emotional, not just physical.

The jurors have already found that prosecutors proved two other aggravating factors during the eligibility phase of the trial. One is that Williams committed the murder in an especially heinous, cruel and depraved manner. The other is that Talia was particularly vulnerable because of her age.

Williams is the first person to stand trial in Hawaii for a death penalty offense since the territorial legislature abolished capital punishment in 1957. He was prosecuted under federal law because the killing occurred on a U.S. military installation.

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