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Testimony continues in Hawaii death penalty case

May 9, 2014 - 6:14am

HONOLULU — Jurors continue to hear testimony in whether the former Hawaii-based soldier they convicted of murder should be sentenced to death.

They found Naeem Williams guilty last month of murder in the 2005 beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Talia. Whether Williams is sentenced to death or life in prison without possibility for release will also be determined by the jury.

This is a death penalty case even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957. The crime occurred on military property, making it a federal case that allows for the death penalty.

The sentencing-eligibility phase is expected to continue next week. The defense argues that Williams isn’t eligible for a death sentence because of his low IQ, while the prosecution says death is warranted because of Talia’s age and vulnerability.