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Sentencing phase of Hawaii death penalty trial to begin


HONOLULU — Jurors are expected to begin weighing whether the former Hawaii soldier they convicted of murder must be sentenced to death.

The federal jury last month convicted Naeem Williams of murder in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter. Last week, they determined that Williams is eligible for the death penalty. The final sentencing phase begins Wednesday with opening statements.

In this phase, jurors will hear testimony and later deliberate on whether the sentence must be death or life in prison without possibility for release. The judge will then impose the sentence.

The defense is expected to present evidence about Williams as a person in an effort to show why he doesn’t deserve a death sentence. The prosecution is expected to present evidence highlighting how heinous Talia’s killing was.