Punishment Phase of Retrial Expected to Conclude Today

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Testimony in Tyrone Williams' retrial was expected to wrap up today along with closing arguments in the case. The jury could begin deliberating by the end of the day whether to sentence Williams to death or up to life in prison for the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants.

Williams was convicted last month on 58 counts of conspiracy, harboring and transporting immigrants in his sweltering trailer during the smuggling attempt from South Texas to Houston in 2003. He abandoned the trailer at a truck stop near Victoria, about 100 miles southwest of Houston.

Prosecutors have said Williams merits a death sentence because by not freeing the immigrants trapped in his trailer, he intentionally committed an act of violence that caused the deaths.

Family and friends from Jamaica, where Williams was born, describe him as a good person who was raised in a loving and caring environment and would never hurt anybody.