Man Arrested In Kathy Taft's Murder

Raleigh police say they've arrested a man in Kathy Taft's murder.

Jason Williford, age 30, of Raleigh was arrested.

Taft, a state board of education member from Greenville, died in March, three days after a brutal beating in a Raleigh home.

Police say Williford was arrested Friday afternoon by the Raleigh Police Department and charged with murder and rape in connection with the death of Taft.

Police Chief Harry Dolan said Williford lives in an apartment two-tenths of a mile from where Taft was attacked on March 6.

"I commend everyone in the department who worked to make possible the arrest in the case," said Maj. Rick Grayson, commander of the RPD's Detective Division. "Since the case investigation began on March 6, the department's Homicide Unit, in particular, has worked tirelessly on behalf of the victim, her family and the community to seek justice."

Grayson also expressed gratitude "for the support of the neighborhood surrounding the crime scene and to members of the victim's family for their assistance and confidence. In addition, he praised the forensic work performed by the SBI and CCBI during the investigation."

The department said it anticipates making a statement concerning the case Saturday afternoon. The investigation is continuing.

The NC Department of Corrections website shows Williford was convicted of breaking and entering in 1997 and 2001. Both of those incidents were in Wake County.


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Documents released in the Kathy Taft murder case say police believe the state school board member from Greenville was sexually assaulted.

Taft's sister told a 911 operator that the 62-year-old woman was foaming at the mouth and there was blood everywhere.

A Wake County superior court judge agreed to seal the records into the investigation for 30 days after the March 9th murder.

Also released were two 911 tapes. Taft's sister, Dina Holton, first called 911 believing her sister had complications from plastic surgery done the day before.

Sister: "She had surgery on her neck and her....(unintelligible)

911: "Okay, tell me what's going on with her right now?"

Sister: "She is in the bed, I cannot get her up. She is all wrapped up with a shawl....there is blood everywhere, everywhere.

911: "Is she awake?"

Sister: "No."

911: "No?"

Sister: "Kathy, Kathy...she's foaming at the mouth."

911: "Ok, hold on."

Sister: "I cannot wake her up, oh it's horrible."

Hours later while Taft was at WakeMed, an emergency room employee made the second call to report the possible rape after she was examined.

"The family thinks they might have seen somebody, but they really don't know. We can't ask the patient anything," said the hospital employee.

The 62-year-old Taft was found beaten inside a Raleigh home and died three days later in the hospital.

One of the documents is a search warrant for the car of Taft's sister, Dina Holton, of Oriental. A handwritten note, fingerprints and swabs of DNA were taken from the vehicle.

Police also searched Taft's car. Taft and her sister were staying at the Raleigh home while Taft recovered from a minor surgery.

The court documents say many items were seized from the home, including sheets, pillows, computers, DNA swabs and golf clubs. The warrants show "Taft had a cut on the back of her head" and had been sexually assaulted.

A $25,000 reward was offered by Taft's family.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jim Location: greenville on Apr 18, 2010 at 05:42 AM
    guys its not about politics find something better to do with your time. this is about a woman's murder keep her family in mind
  • by Vance on Apr 18, 2010 at 04:04 AM
    They need to bring back public hangings for crimes like this.
  • by Me Location: Martin on Apr 17, 2010 at 09:20 PM
    If it had happened in Martin Co. he wouldnt had to worry about getting caught they too sorry to work that hard to try and catch anyone
  • by to Vance on Apr 17, 2010 at 07:37 PM
    But you are just saying bad things to Nancy Pelosi because she agree with Obama. So that is the same to me.
  • by Vance on Apr 17, 2010 at 06:44 PM
    Anonymous@9:28 yes you are right but you forgot to add that Nancy Pelosi is in their too did not you.I did not mention anything about race did I!Last I check Nancy Pelosi Is White and Obonga has a white mother.You call it like you see it. And I call it like it is.REALISM.
  • by to vance on Apr 17, 2010 at 06:32 PM
    I am anon @ 347 and winterville on April 16.. if you read my first post I did mention Mrs. Taft.. my second post was in response to "to winterville". Do not make me sound like a hypocrite because that, I am not. I was simply stating the truth. the (black)football players were called much worse than this man and they didnt even kill anyone.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 17, 2010 at 06:28 PM
    We the people on this site that dislike racism. And Vance you just wrote something bad about Barack Obama and Eric Holder under the post about Eric wanting equal rights for black in employment and prison time.
  • by Vance on Apr 17, 2010 at 05:39 PM
    TO to Vance@7:42PM can you be more specific when I have said something nasty about somebody because of their skin color?Name one time please.I happen to like MLK's(A Republican) Quote dont judge someone for the color of their skin but the content of their character. Something you must know nothing about.By the way in your second sentence who are We?MLK and me state truths WE dont spread rumors and hate.
  • by to Vance on Apr 17, 2010 at 04:42 PM
    Yeah alot of time people don't comment on the victim when it is a black person pictured. We are just stating the truth. Something you must know nothing about, because alot times you say very nasty comments about the person when they are black.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 17, 2010 at 03:34 PM
    That is not true anonymous at 04:17 there are black people who do a crime and don't claim discrimination. It is just white people say they are guilty before finding out all the evidence. I have not seen a black person play the race card when it comes to another black committing a crime. No white people do not play the race card they just get a slap on the wrist or it take many years to find them guilty.
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