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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A Raleigh man has been found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the death of a member of the state Board of Education.

A Wake County jury returned the verdicts Friday in the trial of Jason Williford. The same jury is to decide whether Williford will serve a life sentence in prison or be put to death.

Kathy Taft was staying at a friend’s house in Raleigh while recovering from surgery when she was killed in March 2010. Prosecutors say Williford broke into the house, entered the bedroom where the 62-year-old Taft was recovering, raped her and bludgeoned her with a rock.

Attorneys said the 32-year old Williford suffered from a number of mental illnesses that made it impossible for develop the intent to commit first-degree murder.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

6/1/2012 3:51:51 PM (GMT -4:00)

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