The capital murder trial of ex-soldier Naeem Williams from South Carolina, continues in Hawaii, with keynote testimony related to the timeline and cause of death of 5-year-old Talia Williams. Williams is on trial in Hawaii's first death penalty case, for the torture-murder of his daughter.
According to the April 4, report by the Star Advertiser, Pediatric forensic pathologist Janice Ophoven said Talia died from complications of blunt force trauma to her head, chest and abdomen that occurred weeks before she died. "She did not suffer fatal injuries on the day of death," Ophoven said.
Naeem Williams, 34, had previously testified that on the day of Talia's death he hit his daughter in the back causing her to fall and hit her head on the floor of his Wheeler Army Airfield family quarters. He said Talia never got up from the fall and later died.
The discovery of the timeline of the child's death not directly linked to the assault by Williams, on the day of her death, may play a role in whether Williams' trial will end in a death sentence conviction for Williams.
In a plea deal for a flat 20-year jail term, Delilah Williams, step-mother to Talia, testified to joint torture of the child with her husband and her own individual attacks against the child, in the weeks and months prior to the child's death.
Delilah Williams testified that she and Naeem " bound the girl to a bedpost with duct tape before beating her with a belt. In one of those taping incidents, she said, she recalled the child having a "pleading look."
The stepmother said she attempted the taping routine once herself but found it wasn't effective because the girl was still able to squirm around.
"It required too much effort, also, so I decided not to do it again," she said.
She said that she and the father repeatedly cursed at Talia, called her names and hit her almost daily. Williams said she came home from work that day and saw that Talia had wet herself.
"I started stomping on her," she said. "I just continued stomping on her until it felt like a bone cracked under my foot and she defecated on herself." She forced the child to sit on a toilet and pushed on her stomach so hard that a toilet pipe broke, causing a leak. She said she then grabbed Talia by the hair and slammed her head against a wall."
It wasn't the first time she grabbed the child by the hair, she said, describing a time when she pulled Talia by the hair at the top of her head because she was slow going up the stairs. "A big chunk of her hair" came out, she said.
She also described another incident when her husband punched the child in the stomach for eating a doughnut. The girl wasn't allowed to go downstairs to eat while she was home alone, Delilah Williams said.
The end result of the child's death may be unclear as to which attacks on the child, and by which parent, culminated in the child's death. The trial continues.