$4.3M spent on Hawaii death penalty case’s defense


HONOLULU — It cost more than $4.3 million to defend a former Hawaii-based soldier who faced the death penalty for the murder of his 5-year-old daughter.

A jury last week was unable to agree on Naeem Williams’ sentence, allowing him to avoid execution and receive life in prison without the possibility of release.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser requested disclosure of the public money spent to defend Williams. A federal judge released that information Monday.

The information released says Williams’ attorney fees and costs totaled nearly $2.9 million. Other expenses including expert witnesses, paralegals and investigators totaled about $1.4 million.

Juror expenses came out to nearly $209,000.

The Criminal Justice Act provides for appointing and compensating lawyers to represent defendants who can’t afford legal counsel in federal criminal proceedings.