Kathy Taft

Five-week jury selection nears end in Williford trial

Posted May 14, 2012 7:02 p.m. EDT

— 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.