RALEIGH, N.C. — Jason Williford — who was found guilty last week of first-degree murder in the 2010 killing of N.C. State Board of Education member Kathy Taft — has been sentenced to life in prison.
According to WRAL-TV, a Wake County jury on Thursday deliberated for more than five hours following ten days of testimony before making the recommendation.
Williford, 32, was found guilty of killing the 62-year-old mother of four while she was recovering from cosmetic surgery at her companion’s Raleigh home on March 6, 2010. Prosecutors said Williford broke into the home, beat her in the head, and then raped her. Taft died three days later at the hospital.
Williford lived less than two blocks from where the attack occurred.
DNA evidence from a discarded cigarette butt led investigators to Williford’s arrest on April 16, 2010. The suspect was camping at Lake Jordan with his wife at the time.