RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Jury selection will begin in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing a member of the North Carolina state Board of Education.
32-year old Jason Williford has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped and beat 62-year-old Kathy Taft. The Greenville resident and grandmother was staying at a friend’s house in Raleigh while recovering from surgery when she was killed in March 2010.
Willford was arrested in April 2010 after police say they found DNA evidence on a cigarette butt linking him to the crime. His attorneys unsuccessfully tried to have that evidence thrown out, arguing police should have obtained a search warrant before picking up the evidence.
Williford could face the death penalty if he’s convicted in the trial that begins today.
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