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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014 12:13 PM HST

Sentencing phase of death penalty trial begins

By 67AM KPUA News

HONOLULU (AP) Jurors who must decide if a former Hawaii soldier will be sentenced to death are expected to hear from witnesses including his family, high school friends and fellow inmates.

The sentencing phase in Naeem Williams' trial began Wednesday in a process where jurors will decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life in prison without possibility for release.

Defense attorney Michael Burt asked jurors to consider Williams' background and character to determine that death isn't justified.

Aunt Trenia Muse testified that Williams' stepfather was abusive. She says her nephew's life should be spared.

The jurors convicted Williams of murder in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Talia. They also found him eligible for the death penalty.

Talia's mother testified about the lasting pain of losing a child.

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