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WHT Breaking: Naeem Williams sentenced to life in prison in death penalty case

June 27, 2014 - 11:50pm

Naeem Williams will serve life in prison after being convicted of beating to death his 5-year-old daughter, Talia, in 2005.

The verdict was announced Friday morning after the jury deadlocked. Jurors in Honolulu came to a verdict on Thursday whether Williams would be executed or sentenced to life in prison, but they asked the judge to delay reading the verdict because some jurors feel emotionally drained.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers objected to delaying the reading. They declined to comment outside of court on how the verdict was being handled.

Williams’ death penalty trial is the first in the history of Hawaii’s statehood.

In April, the same 12 jurors found Williams guilty of capital murder in his daughter Talia’s 2005 beating death. He said he beat the child often to discipline her for bathroom accidents.

Hawaii’s territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957. But because his crimes took place in military housing on Oahu, Williams was tried in the federal justice system, which allows the death penalty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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