Stepmother of slain tot gets plea deal
A federal judge has agreed to accept a plea agreement that calls for a 20-year prison term for the stepmother of a 5-year-old girl who died after being repeatedly beaten.
Delilah Williams, wife of a Schofield Barracks soldier, pleaded guilty last December to assaulting her stepdaughter, Talia Emoni Williams, on more than two occasions until her death on July 16, 2005, but denied inflicting the fatal blow.
"While she is heartily culpable, she is not that culpable," said U.S. District Judge David Ezra, noting that the evidence offered by the government shows someone else delivered the fatal blow.
As part of the agreement, Williams has agreed to testify against husband Naeem Williams at his pending murder trial, which has been certified by the U.S. attorney general as a death penalty case. She will testify only in the evidence phase, not in any sentencing phase.
Usually, the court notifies defendants at their sentencing hearing whether it will accept the agreement, but the defense wanted the security that the judge will bind himself to the agreement, said 1st Assistant Federal Defender Alexander Silvert, one of Delilah Williams' attorneys. The government also wanted the reassurance that she will testify at her husband's trial, now set for May 6, he said.