Verdict reached in Hawaii death penalty trial


HONOLULU — A jury has reached a verdict in the case of a former Hawaii-based soldier accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter.

Naeem Williams could face the death penalty if convicted in the federal murder trial, even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment nearly 60 years ago.

The jury started deliberating Wednesday after a trial that has lasted more than a month. It will announce its decision later Thursday.

In addition to murder, Williams is charged with aiding murder, conspiracy, obstructing justice and making false statements.

He is being tried in the federal system because the crime allegedly took place at the family’s home at Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu.

Williams testified he often beat his daughter out of frustration. But the defense argues it’s unclear whether he caused an injury that directly led to her death.