A federal judge has sentenced a stepmother to 20 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to murder in the 2005 death of a 5-year-old child.
U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright also said Tuesday that Delilah Williams' plea deal with prosecutors for the sentence was necessary in the case against her husband, Naeem Williams.
Seabright says her testimony was key to prosecuting her husband, who delivered the fatal punch to the child.
Delilah Williams shook her head when given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing hearing.
The judge said the "evil" stepmother seemed to derive twisted pleasure from violently beating the child.
Jurors convicted Naeem Williams of murder but failed to agree on a sentence, allowing him to avoid execution.
The U.S. Attorney's Office released the following statement:
"The jury found Naeem Williams guilty of capitol offenses and subsequently found him eligible for the death penalty. The United States accepts and respects the jurors' split verdict regarding the death penalty and credits their dedication and diligence in weighing the evidence."
"While the United States decision to seek the death penalty was warranted, the United States respects the jury's determination that life in prison was an appropriate sentence."
"At no time has the government position's been that the prosecution of either Delilah or Naeem Williams was a waste of time."