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Stepmother influenced death penalty deliberations

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:33 p.m. HST, Jul 07, 2014

Delilah Williams testified at her husband's murder trial that she had stomped on her 5-year-old stepdaughter so hard that she heard bone crack.

She said she and her former soldier husband abused the girl regularly while they lived in Army housing in Hawaii, beating her with belts and withholding food for days.

Because of her testimony and a binding plea agreement, Williams will be sentenced to 20 years in prison, including nine years already served, in federal court in Honolulu on Tuesday, a prosecutor and her defense attorney said.

And her acknowledged role in the abuse helped keep her husband Naeem Williams from receiving the death penalty after he was convicted of murder. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Jurors interviewed after the panel was unable to agree on a sentence in his trial said some of them partly blamed Delilah Williams for the death of Talia Williams. "She's an evil person," juror Clarence Kaona Jr. said. "It was because of her."

Federal public defender Alexander Silvert, who represents Delilah Williams, had expected her guilty plea to a murder charge to have a major impact on the jury hearing the case against her husband. During the penalty phase of his trial, eight jurors wanted him executed; four sought life in prison.

"All along we thought that the deal the government struck with Delilah would be a very big factor for any juror in imposing the death penalty for Naeem," Silvert said.

Some of the jurors planned to attend her sentencing.

"Hopefully that will give me some closure," juror Kelle Mata said about traveling to the Honolulu courtroom from his home on Kauai to honor the young victim.

Jurors said they considered many different factors in reaching their individual decisions.

In the end, jurors agreed the decision before them involved Naeem Williams, not his wife, Mata said. "The bottom line came down to she didn't do the last blow," he said.

Prosecutors say Naeem Williams delivered a deadly punch on July 16, 2005, that left knuckle imprints on Talia's chest. He testified that he beat her that day in part because she spit toothpaste all over the sink.

"I went for death," Mata said, noting that he had considered testimony about childhood abuse of the defendant. "Though it was a hard decision because I understand his past of him being abused and him having a psycho wife ... had that influence."

Fellow juror Betty Jane Auten said she considered the influence of Delilah Williams on her husband, "but Naeem could have stopped Delilah at any time from hurting his child."

Some jurors said her plea deal was unfair.

"I just felt that was a done deal, we can't change that," Auten said. "We need to be focusing on his actions and what he did and didn't do to protect his daughter."

When jurors were finally able to discuss the case with each other, they unloaded their feelings about the horrible things done to the child.

"People were crying, screaming, just getting out all the emotion that we had to keep in for so long," Mata said.

When Delilah Williams, 30, completes the remainder of her sentence, she'll be about 40.

"Given her conduct (at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center), she's probably not going to get a lot of good behavior credit," Silvert said.

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d_bullfighter wrote:
Whoever wrote this article should not be a journalist; article was disjointed and poorly written.
on July 7,2014 | 10:35AM
cojef wrote:
Mark Twain remarked, "if you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
on July 7,2014 | 12:07PM
rigormortis wrote:
I watch TV so I am deformed.
on July 7,2014 | 04:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well u can't ever be deformed because u r locked solid into place, considering your screen name. I would select something like BigMac myself, if I worked for Mickey D. Hey maybe u work for the City Medical Examiner. Remember Quincy from the 1970s ? That role was more suited for Jack Klugman, although I loved his serious sense of humor in The Odd Couple with Tony Randall.
on July 7,2014 | 07:01PM
rigormortis wrote:
Thats why there is no byline. It was written by an iphone app that picked up tidbits at the water cooler.
on July 7,2014 | 04:28PM
SueH wrote:
What do they mean "when she completes her sentence she should be ABOUT 40 yrs. old"??? They should know EXACTLY how old she'll be!! Do the math!! Does this mean she may not serve her entire sentence???
on July 7,2014 | 10:58AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Obviously you are unaware of how the system works. Felons often do not serve their full sentence. They are often paroled way before they complete a sentence. The parole board decides how much a felon will serve. SA is probably going by the fact that felons with crimes as heinous as this case historically are not given as much leniency. The calculation cannot be exact. She will probably be approximately 40 by the time she is released.
on July 7,2014 | 11:38AM
Papakolea wrote:
No parole in federal prison.
on July 7,2014 | 07:10PM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
The SA is actually correct in that the parole board will be the ones to decide how much this woman has to serve. In all likelihood she will probably serve most of hir sentence and that means she will be approximately 40 years old.
on July 7,2014 | 11:40AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
I thought in the federal system there is no parole? You do you whole time, but you get some credits for good behavior in prison.
on July 7,2014 | 03:48PM
SteveToo wrote:
Both should be killed. The world doesn'tneed people like this.
on July 7,2014 | 03:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well the husband would not have been brought to justice if not for the wife.
on July 7,2014 | 07:13PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Makes you wonder - who ever made the first deal with Prosecutors got 20 years. If Naeem made the deal first he would be facing 20 years and she would be facing the life sentence. I guess sometimes who ever acts first gets the best deal, unfortunately its a deal with the devil.
on July 7,2014 | 03:50PM
kuewa wrote:
This woman is evil incarnate, even more so than her husband. The prosecutor who gave her the inappropriately lenient plea deal should be sanctioned. There was more than enough evidence to convict both of them without a plea deal.
on July 7,2014 | 04:29PM
HD36 wrote:
She should do the right thing and hang herself.
on July 7,2014 | 04:32PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
It may happen yet.
on July 7,2014 | 07:13PM
ricekidd wrote:
Like I said before these two animals will get theirs later... just like the Gangsters wife in Waimanalo, it might not be yourself who has to pay but eventually what goes around comes around... She might come out by 40's but remember... She has a bulleye behind her back...
on July 7,2014 | 06:47PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Yah for squealing, she would have to always turn and wonder, just like Barry, left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, never straight ahead into the eye of the camera.
on July 7,2014 | 07:15PM
808warriorfan wrote:
They both deserve "the needle".....
on July 7,2014 | 10:52PM
AshesofAngels wrote:
It was just open season on this little girl in the Williams house; these two Nimrod's appeared to be one upping each other on who could beat down this poor child more severely! F!@#$% Maroon's!
on July 8,2014 | 05:01PM
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