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Raleigh man indicted in state school board member's slaying

Posted May 4, 2010
Updated May 12, 2010

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— A Wake County grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Raleigh man on one count each of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree burglary in the death of a State Board of Education official.

Jason Keith Williford, 30, of 2812-D Wayland Drive, was arrested April 16 in the March 9 death of Kathy Taft.

Prosecutors have not indicated whether they plan to seek the death penalty against Williford, but charges of rape and burglary could be considered aggravating circumstances if they decide to do so.

Taft, 62, of Greenville, was recovering from plastic surgery at a friend's home on Cartier Drive in Raleigh when she was raped and attacked multiple times with a blunt object to the head, according to an autopsy report.

She died from a fractured skull and extensive brain damage three days after her sister found her bloodied and unresponsive on the morning of March 6.

Sources say police arrested Williford after DNA from a discarded cigarette matched evidence found at the scene of Taft's attack.

Williford is being held without bond at Central Prison in Raleigh. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 10.

12 Comments

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  • RainierBeer May 4, 2010

    death penalty would be nice. but in our state, if you do the crime you do the time breathing, not eternal sleeping. just broadcast it, nc is soft on murderers!

  • BigUNCFan May 4, 2010

    In essense, this ia a done deal. Like it or not, death penalty in NC is on the way out. Kind of ironic considering that now we have more scientific proceesses that ever to get the right perp.

    He will get life in prison, no chance for parole.

    Pretty stupid actually on his part. I have to think that he left DNA at the scene when he committed that specific crime.

    Gotta think the cops are going to look at the neighbors. Obviously, did not think it through.

    His best bet given what I imagine the evidence is, is to plead out a no contest and hope that you only get 30 or 40 years. He could also use the excuse he was high or drunk or both to get his sorry self less time although I would not give him less for those factors.

  • csplantlover May 4, 2010

    This guy had serious issues and was just pure evil. I hope the victim gets the justice for what this person did to her.

  • diana123 May 4, 2010

    that was one night his mother should have slept. no, frank,
    not tonight!!

  • slaterric May 4, 2010

    Regarding "I mean seriously you people need to chill or find some other outlet for your useless "energy"." - I agree with you on this. Bit I do believe that some of these characters are just stirring the pot to see what reaction they will get.

  • oldrwizr May 4, 2010

    Why are you people so worked up over the death penalty? Have you not noticed that NC is practically a death-free zone these days, that death penalty sentences are all but non-existent any more, and even if it's handed out, it take 20-25 years to "execute" it? God, no wonder Prozac is such a big seller, I mean seriously you people need to chill or find some other outlet for your useless "energy".

  • Jeremiah May 4, 2010

    "He's white with aggravating circumstances. Of course, he will get the death penalty. If he were black, it wouldn't have been as cut and dry."

    i know. us white folks have it so tough.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 4, 2010

    He's white with aggravating circumstances. Of course, he will get the death penalty. If he were black, it wouldn't have been as cut and dry. (Due to that new racist law on the books)

  • djbyrdnc May 4, 2010

    Why keep indicting him? What is one more charge? two weeks ago one person was convicted on 5 murders and still did not get the death penalty. I sure hope Ms. Taft's murder does not go unpunished and he gets the needle.

  • 2beachy4u May 4, 2010

    I have 2 words for him....DEATH PENALTY

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