Tonawanda man found guilty of murder in April shooting

Tonawanda

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB-TV) – The sister of a murdered woman says justice has been served tonight after a jury has found the killer guilty.

Mario Turner Sr. shot Renee Taschetta at their home in the Town of Tonawanda in April, and jurors handed down the guilty verdict Thursday.

When the shooting first happened, turner senior tried to play it off as an accident, and at first, prosecutors could only charge him with criminally negligent homicide.

But as evidence mounted in the investigation, they were able to later charge him with murder in June.

Michele Taschetta, Renee Taschetta’s twin sister, shared a message for her sister’s killer Thursday night after learning the jury reached a guilty verdict.

“I hope you never live on the outside of jail,” she said. “And for your sake, if you can’t admit it to us, at least admit it to God because you will rot in eternity.”

Turner shot and killed his partner of 30 years in their Dumas Place home in the Town of Tonawanda on April 30.

The couple considered each other husband and wife, even though they were not legally married, and have two kids together.

Michele Taschetta was pleased with the jury’s decision.

“I feel lighter. I feel a lot lighter, I mean physically, mentally, just took over me when I heard that,” she said.

Michele says Turner preyed upon her sister for years, and that unfortunately, domestic incidents happened before.

In May, District Attorney John Flynn said Town of Tonawanda police had responded to domestic calls to that home in years prior, including one time that Renee Taschetta declined to press charges against Turner Sr.

Flynn says the April 30 shooting is among several domestic violence homicides in Erie County this year.

“This was one of 10 cases that we had this year, I’m very glad though that, what I believe, justice was done in this case right here,” Flynn said.

News 4 was not in court Thursday, but Flynn says Turner took the witness stand, something Flynn said is very unusual in a murder trial.

“He maintained that he and his girlfriend got into a confrontation, they both had their hands on the gun, and they were both struggling for the weapon, and it went off accidentally. The jury just didn’t believe it, though,” Flynn said.

“We can begin the healing process, yes. Justice, yes. But it will never bring her back,” Michele Taschetta said. “He took away a beautiful person with his ugliness.”

Turner Sr. is being held without bail and faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on November 14.

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