Kathy Taft

Five-week jury selection nears end in Williford trial

Posted May 14, 2012

— After more than five weeks of jury selection, only one more alternate juror is needed in the murder trial of Jason Williford, a Raleigh man accused of killing state school board member Kathy Taft in March 2010.

As of Monday, attorneys had seated 12 jurors and three alternates. Opening statements could begin as early as Wednesday morning, if the final alternate is selected Tuesday.

Taft, who was appointed to the State Board of Education in 1995 by Gov. Jim Hunt, was recovering from surgery when she was attacked on March 6, 2010. The 62-year-old died three days later.

Williford, 32, could face the death penalty if he's convicted of first-degree murder.


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  • Vanilla Skye May 15, 2012

    Murder is murder, JuryDoc.
    Doesn't seem fair to decide that one victim suffered more than another, and for that reason they will seek the DP.

  • jurydoc May 14, 2012

    Vanilla - The prosecutor has sole discretion to determine whether to charge a first degree murder capitally. Once evidence in support of at least one statutory aggravating circumstance exists, that is the minimum threshold for a death penalty case.

  • Vanilla Skye May 14, 2012

    Who decided this was a Death Penalty case when so many other murders that happen here , aren't?
    Those crimes were just as brutal and their lives were just as important.
    What makes the circumstances in this case so different?
    The DP rarely gets carried out anyway, but, I do think they will find him 100% GUILTY.