Kathy Taft

Judge dismisses second juror in Jason Williford trial

Posted May 22, 2012

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— The judge presiding over the capital murder trial of a Raleigh man accused of killing North Carolina state school board member Kathy Taft dismissed a second juror in the case Tuesday after she failed to show up to court.

Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner said the woman gave "no reason satisfactory to the court" to retain her as a juror.

Gessner delayed the trial on Monday after the same juror reported that she had a childcare issue.

The decision leaves only one of three alternate jurors for the trial.

Another juror was dismissed on the first day of testimony last week because she was the sole caretaker of her elderly mother.

Williford, 32, is accused of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree burglary in Taft's March 9, 2010, death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Williford deliberately raped and beat Taft, 62, as she was recovering from surgery, but defense attorneys say he was incapable of forming the necessary mental intent that is needed for a first-degree murder conviction, because he suffers from a number of disorders and illnesses.

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  • fayncmike May 22, 2012

    ""my points are well made. Trust me, they don't want me any more then I want them."

    Your "points" could also get you charged with contempt of court if not slander and defamation should you meet any of the above who would like to make an example of you.

    NeverSurrender"

    Not really. As long as one is respectful there isn't a darn thing they can do. We all have the right to express our opinions. Also during jury selection they ask if there is any reason one should not do jury duty. If the answer is yes than the next question is what is the reason. At that point I'm free to express my true opinion and that's that. Like it or not, they have to let me off. Actually after a few tries I never heard from them again. I guess they smartened up and just stopped trying. By the way, in order to pursue slander or defamation, they would have to prove that they have been harmed in some concrete way. I don't see that happening.

  • johnnyislate May 22, 2012

    That's how the constitution works. Williford could have plead guilty but didn't. He gets his day in court with a jury. Don't like it then move to Pakistan or some other country where you won't have to put up with trials or pay taxes for trials. You may get your fingers cut off or beheaded but that's the chance you take.

  • carolinarox May 22, 2012

    just get it over with, stop wasting my tax dollars and put this nitwit where he belongs, in a mental institution or prison or wherever he needs to be. Stop wasting our tax dollars on these cases.......... ellengraham5660

    So, we should waste your tax dollars by throwing people in jail, under the jail or wherever you think is appropriate without the benefit of a trial?

  • NeverSurrender May 22, 2012

    "my points are well made. Trust me, they don't want me any more then I want them."

    Your "points" could also get you charged with contempt of court if not slander and defamation should you meet any of the above who would like to make an example of you.

    You've been fortunate that the jury pools are often large enough to flush the ones who obviously have no desire to serve and that they don't want to clog the dockets with these sorts of contempt cases.

  • mistervegas May 22, 2012

    I would tell the truth. If I was being considered for a juror in this trial, I would say Williford is guilty and desires the death penalty and end of story.

  • epdeans May 22, 2012

    What does the defense team gain by discrediting the victim's sister?

    How does her having a problem with alcohol help the self proclaimed rapist and murderer?

    It is just slimy and uncalled for.

  • ellengraham5660 May 22, 2012

    I can't believe that we are wasting time on this derelict......HE knows he did this, WE know he did this, EVERYbody knows he did this.........just get it over with, stop wasting my tax dollars and put this nitwit where he belongs, in a mental institution or prison or wherever he needs to be. Stop wasting our tax dollars on these cases..........

  • boneymaroney13 May 22, 2012

    These trial lawyers have no shame!

  • epdeans May 22, 2012

    I have been called for jury duty and was honest about my family situation of being the primary caregiver of my son. I was released from duty and told to have a nice day. Did not have to make up some crazy story or anything.

    The truth works.

  • fayncmike May 22, 2012

    "It never ceases to amaze me the people who will LIE to get out of jury duty. Don't you think you are capable of listening to the evidence and determining guilt or innocence? If you were on trial, wouldn't you want the respect of people called for jury duty to be honest and not lie just because they didn't want to "waste" their time determining your future?

    It's an honor to serve on jury duty and it should be seen by everyone in that manner. It deserves respect!
    JAT"

    I have never had to lie to get out of jury duty. The truth works just fine. After my little recital about the cops that carry "cold" weapons and drugs to plant on those they want to go away to the prosecutors who hide or destroy exculpatory evidence to the judges that sell out to the highest bidders knowing that they'll end up with prestigious jobs in time and lastly to the jurors that who have trouble deciding between regular and decaf, my points are well made. Trust me, they don't want me any more then I want them.

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