A former Hawaii-based solider is telling jurors in his capital murder trial that he beat his 5-year-old daughter because of bathroom accidents and because he was taking out his marital frustrations on the child.
Naeem Williams, 34, says the day his daughter Talia died in July 2005, he hit her so hard in the back that she hit her head on the floor and appeared to have a seizure. He says that happened after he came home from a night of drinking and was upset that Talia had spit toothpaste all over the sink and urinated on herself.
He testified Wednesday about months of abuse he and Talia's stepmother inflicted, including removing furniture from her bedroom and withholding food.
"If she wasn't beaten every day, it was every other day," said Williams.
Williams said Talia was duct taped to her bed. At times, her wrists were tied together with a bath robe tie. He described how, at times, he used his fist to beat her on her back and chest and how she was shoved into the wall.
When Williams started reflecting on what would have happened if he didn't bring Talia to live with him in Hawaii, the prosecution objected and U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright quickly sent out the jury.
Seabright says "retrospective" testimony is "very prejudicial to the government." He says it seems Williams was coached because his testimony mirrors his defense attorney's opening statement.
A defense attorney said Naeem's wife, Delilah Williams, projected her rage onto Talia. But, the prosecution says it was Naeem Williams who delivered the fatal blow.
Because it's a federal case, Williams could face the death penalty even though Hawaii doesn't have capital punishment.