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Police search laptops in school official's death

Posted September 9, 2010

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— Raleigh police investigating the death of a state school board member searched two laptops used by the man accused in her slaying, according to a search warrant returned Thursday.

Kathy Taft died on March 9 from a fractured skull and extensive brain damage resulting from an attack.

Jason Keith Williford, 30, was arrested April 16 and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree forcible rape in the case. Investigators have said they do not believe the two knew each other.

Authorities searched the laptops for any digital files showing visits to Internet sites or collections of photographs depicting sexual assault. They also searched for any files referring to Taft. It is unclear if they found anything on the laptops.

Taft, 62, of Greenville, was recovering from plastic surgery at a friend's home on Cartier Drive in Raleigh when she was raped and beaten repeatedly on the head with a blunt object, according to an autopsy report. She died three days after her sister found her bloodied and unresponsive, police have said.

Williford, who was later also indicted on a first-degree burglary charge, is being held without bond at Central Prison in Raleigh.

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  • thepeopleschamp Sep 10, 2010

    "Guilty or not, this guy is gonna get off due to sloppy police work, bad labs and pure laziness." Lickad

    Wanna bet? Tell us how you would have solved this crime???

  • Lickad Sep 9, 2010

    From the news stories, it sounds like the suspect was railroaded. If the police came to my door asking for a DNA sample, i would tell them to take a hike. You do not know what they are going to do with your DNA in the future... it may end up on the Maury Povich show someday.

    Someone refusing to give DNA evidence when not a suspect is not enough probable cause to make someone a suspect. The DNA evidence was obtained illegally and without just cause and should be thrown out. The detectives got lazy and I highly doubt that the DNA would hold up anyways because of the current debacle with the SBI.

    Guilty or not, this guy is gonna get off due to sloppy police work, bad labs and pure laziness.

  • Kbo Sep 9, 2010

    james27613 - it's PRESUMED innocent until proven guilty. He's either guilty or he's not, he either did it or he didn't. All it means is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove he did it, not on the defense to prove he didn't.

  • fwright1976 Sep 9, 2010

    NO, you are guilty until proven innocent! And we don't need to protect anyone who is a suspect for anything! That's what is wrong with this country!

  • exposure102 Sep 9, 2010

    Still wondering where the sister was at while this was going on...

  • UPTOP Sep 9, 2010

    How did he know she was at that house ? It's not like she lived there, she just happened to be there that weekend !!

  • james27613 Sep 9, 2010

    They need to remove the photo of the guy from the story.

    It is an insult to Ms. Taft to have his photo displayed.

    (He is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)

  • wildcat Sep 9, 2010

    May the officers soon fine the truth.