Hawaii death penalty case nears conclusion


HONOLULU — A federal prosecutor is asking for the “ultimate punishment” for a former soldier convicted of his 5-year-old daughter’s murder.

Justice Department Trial Attorney Steven Mellin told jurors Friday that Naeem Williams deserves the death penalty because he beat his daughter almost daily when she lived with him while he was stationed in Hawaii.

The jury that convicted Williams of murder in the 2005 beating death will decide if his sentence will be death or life in prison without possibility for release.

Williams, his family and his defense attorneys are asking jurors to spare his life.

If he’s sentenced to death, it’ll be the first time in the history of Hawaii’s statehood. Hawaii no longer has capital punishment but the case is in federal court, where the death penalty is available.