Local News

Suspect in state school board slaying to undergo mental evaluation

Posted December 15, 2011

— A Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled that a man accused of killing a state school board official will undergo a mental evaluation before his trial starts next year.

Jason Keith Williford, 32, is charged with first-degree murder in the March 2010 rape and beating death of Kathy Taft, who was recovering from surgery at a friend's home in Raleigh when she was attacked.

Raleigh police arrested Williford a month later on the murder charge, as well as a charge of first-degree forcible rape.

Pre-trial motions are scheduled for Feb. 20. He is expected to go to trial March 5.

Defense attorneys indicated in September that they might argue that Williford had a diminished mental capacity at the time.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.


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  • dbcooper41 Dec 16, 2011

    according to wral's arrest report he was just arrested again for burglary. how did that happen with him in jail. he's also on the court calender for this.
    was it an add on to the original charges?
    what's up here? this story has always been a bit sketchy.

  • BubbaDuke Dec 16, 2011

    According to the headline, the suspect killed the state school board.

    This is the result of lawyers doing everything they can to win a case and bolster their career. It has nothing to do with justice. Do we care why the killer killed Ms. Taft?

  • abylelab -BT- Dec 16, 2011

    it's taken this long just to get a mental health evaluation?