CLYMER, N.Y. (WIVB) - Opening statements in Anthony Taglianetti’s murder trial finished up very early Tuesday and multiple witnesses were called to the stand, including the victim’s daughter.
Many disturbing facts were revealed Tuesday, including that the popular superintendent of Clymer Central Schools was found shot three times - one in the chest and twice in the back.
During opening statements, Chautauqua County DA David Foley told jurors, "It was over an e-mail. You see, the defendant found an e-mail between his wife, Mary, and Keith Reed...an explicit e-mail."
That e-mail was sent in August of last year, about a month before the murder.
Prosecutors say Reed and Mary had a brief relationship two years earlier after meeting on Match.com while the Taglianettis were separated.
After Mary and her husband reunited, prosecutors say it appears she had no contact with Reed until April 2012, when she sent him a friend request on Facebook. Prosecutors say the two "sexted" one another until Taglianetti sent Reed an e-mail, warning him to stay away from Mary. Prosecutors say Reed responded by saying, "Please both of you just leave me alone." It was after that message that authorities believe Taglianetti came to WNY to kill Reed.
But defense attorney Nathanial Barrone says this case is about the ability of Mary to manipulate. He says Taglianetti is an ex-Marine with two masters degree who was led astray by his wife.
"It's not as simple as just one e-mail," he said. "She knew how to puppet people. She knew what strings to pull."
Prosecutors believe Reed was killed on September 21, a Friday night last year. His bags were packed and near the door for a five-hour trip to a superintendents conference the next morning.
According to prosecutors, the night before Reed's murder, Taglianetti left Virginia shortly after midnight and stopped at an ATM. That receipt was allegedly found near Reed's body. Taglianetti is reportedly shown on surveillance video going to Clymer Central Schools around noon, asking to speak with Reed.
But Reed was out of town, visiting his daughter Allison, who was the first person to testify in the trial. Allison, a student at SUNY Fredonia, said her father came to see her at school that day.
She cried the entire time on the stand and says the last thing she received from her father was a text message saying, "Thank you for the meeting. I love you."
A friend of Reed's, John Fillhaber also took the stand. He said he saw Reed at 8:30 on the evening he was believed to have been killed and that Reed told him, “My job is going great but my love life sucks.”
Another friend testified Reed left the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at around 8:30 p.m., and another said Reed texted her at 8:43 p.m., but by the time she called his cell phone at 9:09, there was no answer. She said she then received a blank text from his phone at 9:22, which is believed to be around the time Reed was murdered.
Prosecutors say Taglianetti was waiting for Reed. Prosecutors say the pistol that killed Reed had his blood on it, and that it was wrapped in a printed email from Mary to Reed.
"A search of [Taglianetti's] automobile would reveal several items, including a handgun case which contained a .357 handgun wrapped in the e-mail between Mary Taglianetti and Keith Reed," Foley said. "This handgun was processed at the New York State Crime Lab and revealed that not only did it contain the defendant's DNA, but also had Keith Reed's blood on the barrel and in the barrel."
But by 7:30 a.m. the next morning, he had driven back to Virginia and even took one of his children to a museum that day.
"Taglianetti was a committed family man. He was a committed father. He was a committed husband," Barone said. "It's not as simple as Taglianetti driving up and killing Keith Reed because of an e-mail. That's not what happened."
It took attorneys nearly a month to seat a jury. Defense lawyers worried that finding an impartial jury would be nearly impossible, as the murder became a major story in the small Chautauqua County town.
News 4 Legal Analyst Terrence Connors said, "You can have knowledge about the case as long as it doesn't impair your ability to decide it fairly and impartially."
Mary is expected to take the stand at some point during the trial, and she has previously stated what she believes:
“I can tell you he was a very controlling man and I'm glad he is where he is right now. He's guilty and I'm glad he's there. We've had a rough marital history."
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