A man who was convicted for the rape and murder of Kathy Taft was spared the death penalty this afternoon.
Jurors gave Jason Williford life in prison without the chance for parole.
The Greenville woman who served on the state school board was killed in March 2010 in the Raleigh home of a friend while she was recuperating from cosmetic surgery.
The verdict was read in the Wake County courtroom around 2:45 p.m.
Jurors had deliberated about five hours since yesterday afternoon.
The judge is now formally sentencing Williford. Taft's four children are now addressing jurors and the court.
Jessica Gorall said her mother would have been mortified if she had known what the jurors had endured.
She said in between the attack and Williford's arrest, Gorall said she feared "the demon would come after me".
Paige Fuqua, another daughter, said she knew her mother would die someday, growing as an older woman. "I have no mother," Fuqua told the court. "My children have only one grandmother. You took away our mother and our home." she told Williford. "The reality is we still need our mom. We were not finished loving her."
The judge sentenced the 32-year-old man to serve life without parole on the murder conviction and a minimum of 23 years for the rape.