Stepmother added to Wheeler murder indictment
A 5-year-old victim's soldier father could face the death penalty
A federal grand jury has returned a new indictment in the death of a 5-year-old girl, charging both her soldier father and her stepmother with murder.
Spc. Naeem Williams, 26, still faces the possibility of the death penalty if he is convicted on either of two counts of first-degree felony murder, U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. said yesterday.
The "superseding indictment" replaces a previous indictment against only the father.
Williams' 22-year-old wife, Delilah, now faces one count of first-degree felony murder. If convicted, she would face the possibility of life imprisonment. The new indictment also charges Delilah Williams with assaulting her stepdaughter, Talia Williams, with a dangerous weapon.
Finally, the new indictment charges the couple with conspiring to obstruct justice by removing Talia's blood from the walls and floors of their residence at Wheeler Army Air Field.
Talia was pronounced dead July 16, 2005, at Wahiawa General Hospital.
Emergency room doctors said she died of "blunt head trauma due to battered child syndrome" shortly after she arrived. The doctors said the girl had bruises on her arms, chest, knees and thighs and a cut on her back.
According to court documents, Delilah Williams has said her husband struck Talia with a belt because she had wet herself, and when he found out she had wet herself again, he struck her again, and she fell, hitting her head on the floor.
The decision to seek the death penalty was made by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Hawaii has no death penalty, but the Schofield Barracks soldier will be tried in the state under the federal death penalty law, U.S. Attorney Marshall Silverberg has said.