Taft autopsy shows head injury

Kathy Taft

April 29, 2010 3:43:36 PM PDT
Documents released by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Thursday shed more light on why it wasn't realized straight away that State Board of Education member Kathy Taft had been assaulted before she died.

Authorities say 30-year-old Jason Williford sexually assaulted and beat 62-year-old Taft inside a home on Cartier Lane in the late night hours of March 5 or the early morning hours of March 6.

The only person in the house other than Taft, according to court records, was her sister Dina Holton. Holton discovered Taft unresponsive the morning of March 6 and called 911.

Holton told the 911 operator that Taft was recovering from cosmetic surgery and her head was covered in gauze. While she reported that "there was blood everywhere," she didn't immediately realize that her sister had been beaten.

It wasn't until Taft was taken to WakeMed that police were called. Taft died a few days later. Now, autopsy documents may explain how that happened. The head wound that killed Taft was right next the area where a plastic surgeon made an incision behind her left ear.

The autopsy shows that Taft had a facelift and other surgery just before she died. The medical examiner lists the cause of death as blunt head trauma. The autopsy also confirms Taft was sexually assaulted.

Williford is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree forcible rape. He's being held without bond.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments