Suspect In Kathy Taft's Murder Appears In Court

By: Brittany Gunter
By: Brittany Gunter

The man arrested Friday for the murder of Kathy Taft went before a Wake County judge Monday afternoon for his first court appearance.

Jason Williford said little during the short hearing at a courtroom inside the Wake County jail. Inside that same courtroom were members of Taft's family.

The state school board member from Greenville was murdered and raped last month while staying at a friends home in Raleigh. Wiliford lives just a block away on another street.

The 30-year-old man had a public defender appointed and will be continued to be held without bond. His next day in court is scheduled for May 10th.

Members of the Taft family did not speak with reporters after the hearing.

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The man charged with the rape and murder of Greenville native, Kathy Taft, will go before a judge in a Raleigh courtroom Monday for his first court appearance.

30 year old Jason Williford of Raleigh was arrested on Friday. Authorities say he lived less about two-tenths of a mile from where Taft was staying on Cartier drive.

Taft's daughter, Paige Fuqua along with Taft's son, Jonathan Taft, say they will attend Monday's proceedings.

Kathy Taft's daughter, Paige Fuqua, and Taft's son, Jonathan Taft, spoke to WITN Saturday about the arrest made for the murder of their mother.

"Detective Hodge just said, 'we got them,'" Fuqua said. "I was speechless and I just said are you sure, and he said we're sure."

"To me he's pure evil," said Jonathan Taft. "I'd like to stare at him in the eyes and him recognize what he did."

Both say they are relieved to hear that arrest has been made.

Raleigh police said Friday they arrested 30-year-old Jason Williford of Raleigh and charged him with the rape and murder of Taft.

Taft was a long-time state school board member who lived in Greenville.

Fuqua and Taft say they plan on being there for Williford's first day in court.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by to Data Man on Apr 22, 2010 at 02:50 PM
    It is funny you are still proclaiming this man's innocent. Just who do think killed her a black person.
  • by Data Man on Apr 21, 2010 at 07:59 PM
    You mean to tell me all they have is a cigarette butt! Come on people! This man is probaly not anything close to the killer!! You think a jury is going to beleive they found a cigarette but!? they could have found anybody's butt for that case! You know how many people toss those out the window!?
  • by to WITN on Apr 21, 2010 at 06:57 AM
    I have made 2 post stating how the police went around the neighborhood asking for DNA samples and he refused which made them suspicious of him. Then they trailed him until he tossed a cigarette butt and they got it and tested it for DNA. His DNA from the cigarette butt matched DNA found at the crime scene and that is how they caught him. This was reported days ago by the News and Observer. Why wont you post my comments? Is it because you are not the one who reported how they caught him? I guess should let everyone be heard in this forum (as long as it is not vulgar) or shut it down. It is not fair to publish some comments but not others!!!! Publish them all or shut it down. If you are going to give "freedom of speech" to some you should give it to all!!!!!
  • by to the wise one on Apr 20, 2010 at 01:52 PM
    you are proving that you are not quite as wise as you have convinced yourself. they got his dna from a cigarette butt after tailing him. they went around the neighborhood and asked for dna samples and he refused which made them suspicious of him. then they tailed him and after he threw a cigarette butt on the ground they tested it and it matched so he was arrested....the news and observer published this info days ago...
  • by Chuck Location: Emerald Isle on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:12 PM
    ABSOLUTELY NO PLEA BARGAIN! If the DNA or other evidence firmly convicts him, let this person be the first to experience the return of a public execution, for an example to other would-be felons. Hanging or guillotine execution in the courthouse square needs to come back today; just look where "polite" and hidden executions have taken us.
  • by The Wise One Location: NC on Apr 20, 2010 at 10:36 AM
    This dude did not fess up. He would not cooperate, and it was only later that they were able to extract his DNA. To all of you who are steady questioning the innocence of Taft's sister, do you not trust in the competence of the law enforcement officers? If you, with no background in crime detection/investigation, think something is fishy, don't you think someone else has thought the same thing? Calm down and let these diligent detectives do their job. Thanks.
  • by Data Man on Apr 20, 2010 at 09:45 AM
    No matter what anyone says; something is still not right with this story! This man is acused of something very serious. I am the first one to say that if he did it then he needs the chair. Eve killers will never get out! Trust me on that! If they had killed another thug they would have been out but they will make an example out of those fools!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2010 at 08:04 AM
    Why does it matter where the sister was. This jerk killed an innocent woman, that's what the issue is. He doesn't deserve to eat 3 meals a day nor sleep on a cot.
  • by RFA Location: Greenville on Apr 20, 2010 at 06:28 AM
  • by pirategirl Location: greeenville on Apr 20, 2010 at 05:44 AM
    Ok I've tried to post something about where was the sister when all of this was going on but apparently it didn't make it up here.....J White and Anonymous....I agree and ask the same thing....what in the world was going on with the sister during this time???

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