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Defense medical expert offers new cause-of-death opinion in Williams trial

  • Talia Emoni Williams' abuse was reported shortly after she went to live with her father.

A third defense medical expert is offering yet another opinion on the child abuse beating death of 5-year-old Talia Williams.

Pediatrician and child abuse expert Eli Newberger said Thursday morning in U.S. District Court that when Talia died on July 16, 2005 she was experiencing multiple organ system failures liked to injuries sustained in preceding months. He said her body would have had difficulty repairing the injuries because of food deprivation.

Newberger, however, said he is not able to pinpoint exactly what killed the girl. "I cannot identify a single organ system the failure of which is associated with Talia’s death," he said.

Talia’s father, former Schofield Barracks soldier Naeem Williams, is on trial in for capital murder for killing his daughter. He is facing the death penalty for killing a child through child abuse or as part of a practice and pattern of assault and torture.

Williams has already testified that Talia never got up from a blow he delivered to her back, causing her to hit her head on the concrete floor of their military family quarters at Wheeler Army Airfield.

A previous defense medical expert testified that Talia died from infection of her blood and back of her abdominal cavity wall from injuries she could have suffered 17 days earlier.

Talia’s stepmother Delilah Williams testified that she stomped on Talia multiple times and slammed her stepdaughter’s head into a wall on June 29, 2005.

Another defense medical expert testified that the girl died from complications of injuries to her head, chest and abdomen that could have sustained during Delilah Williams’s admitted stomping.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Kanthi De Alwis performed Talia’s autopsy in 2005 when she was Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner. Dr. De Alwis testified that Talia died when her head hit a flat object. The impact caused Talia’s brain to twist inside her skull cutting off connections to the area of the brain that controls breathing.

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