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Houston jury to weigh fate of smuggling trucker

Deliberations between members of a Houston jury are expected Tuesday on punishment for Tyrone Williams, a trucker convicted in the nation's deadliest smuggling run.
Tyrone Williams
** FILE ** Truck driver Tyrone Williams leaves the federal courthouse in Houston in shackles Monday, March 21, 2005, after the jury's first full day of deliberations in his trial of abandoning an airtight trailer packed with more than 70 illegal immigrants. Testimony Williams' retrial was expected to wrap up on Monday, Jan. 8, 2007 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. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)Pat Sullivan / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

The life-or-death penalty decision for a trucker convicted in the nation's deadliest smuggling run went to a jury in Houston on Monday.

Deliberations are expected Tuesday on punishment for Tyrone Williams.

A jury last month convicted Williams on 58 counts of conspiracy, harboring and transporting immigrants.

During closing arguments Monday, a prosecutor showed graphic photos of 19 illegal immigrants who died in the 2003 smuggling run that ended near Victoria.

Defense attorney Craig Washington again pleaded for leniency before the case went to the jury.

Washington reminded jurors that Williams gave water to the more than 70 immigrants crammed into the trailer before he abandoned the truck near Victoria.

Jurors must decide whether Williams deserves execution or up to life in prison.