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Police search laptops in school official's death

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.

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Kathy A. Taft
RALEIGH, N.C. — 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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Adam Owens, Reporter
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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