Tarshia Williams displays a pendant with her daughter's face on it outside of a federal courthouse in Honolulu on Thursday. A federal jury convicted the girl's father, former Hawaii soldier Naeem Williams, of murder in the beating death of the 5-year-old girl, a capital offense in a state that doesn't have the death penalty. (Sam Eifling/The Associated Press)
HONOLULU — A former Hawaii soldier convicted of killing his 5-year-old daughter will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a federal jury failed to agree on whether he should be put to death.
Naeem Williams' death penalty trial is the first in the history of Hawaii's statehood. But jurors said Friday they were deadlocked on his sentence.
That means the judge will give Williams life in prison without the possibility of release.
The same jury previously found Williams guilty of capital murder — and eligible for the death penalty — in his daughter's 2005 beating death.
Hawaii's territorial government abolished capital punishment in 1957. But Williams was tried in the federal justice system, which allows the death penalty, because his crimes took place in military housing.