Williams trial could bring the first death penalty to HawaiiUPDATED 8:08 PM HST Jan 28, 2014Video Transcript
happened... the beating death of a child is bringing back what would be A FIRST for Hawaii since before statehood: The Death Penalty. Jury selection is now underway in Federal Court.. in the trial of Army Specialist Naeem Williams. Here's KITV4's Lara Yamada -- with the latest. It was that smiling face that faded -- well before its time. Investigators say 5-year-old Talia Williams' father Naeem -- a Schofield Barracks soldier based in Hawaii -- beat his daughter to death in 2005. Documents show the beatings had lasted for MONTHS -- and so severe -- prosecutors say Talia had repeatedly been blindfolded, gagged, and taped to a bed post for hour-long whippings. Her final beating -- they say -- was for spitting toothpaste into a sink. The FBI says Talia's step-mother Delilah Williams was just as cruel -- telling agents -- FS QUOTE PATH: O:GraphicsNEW SGFX2 014January28 - TuesdayWilliams FS Quote shortly before the little girl died -- she "was stomping on Talia," saying she hated her, she was "stupid," and that Talia "ruined" her life. In July 2005, Talia died from blunt force head trauma. Williams was charged with murder. Hawaii does not have its own death penalty law, but the federal government does -- and plans to pursue it. It will be the FIRST TIME a death penalty case has gone to trial in Hawaii. In 2010, a federal judge also cleared the way for Talia's birth mother -- to sue the Army over the little girl's death. The Army has argued it could not be sued -- even if it made mistakes. Lara Yamada KITV4 News. In 2008, Delilah Williams pleaded guilty to assault -- and is serving 20 years in prison. The murder trial for Naeem Williams begins in March. The state of hawaii abolished the death penalty in 1957. As Lara said.... The federal government still recognizes it.