Jury Selection Postponed Amid Controversy
MAYVILLE – In an unexpected turn of events, the first day of jury selection in the second-degree murder trial for Anthony R. Taglianetti II has been adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Roughly 75 jurors turned out to the Gerace Office Building on Tuesday expecting to go through questioning for jury selection. However, shortly after 10 a.m. – prior to jurors being brought in – it was announced jury selection had been adjourned.
“Usually, before we start picking a jury, we address a number of issues, pre-trial issues, that we need to talk about before jury selection begins,” said Ned Barone, public defender. “(Tuesday) morning, we learned … that there was certain information that may have been provided to the district attorney’s office back in March or April that we would be entitled to see. We were just made aware of that. So, (Judge John T. Ward) has adjourned jury selection.”
According to Barone, his office is supposed to receive information from the district attorney’s office for review. He called the information presented Tuesday “completely crucial.”
“As a matter of fact, we made it clear to the court this morning that we weren’t happy with how this has transpired,” Barone said. “Just learning of this on literally the day of jury selection puts us in a very difficult situation.”
According to District Attorney David Foley, he was obligated to disclose the information he had during the meeting, but not prior.
“The information isn’t discoverable under the criminal procedure law, so we weren’t under any obligation to disclose the information,” Foley said. “There were also additional reasons that I can’t go into as to why we weren’t in a position to convey this information.”
Although Barone and Foley were unable to disclose the type of information presented prior to the commencement of jury selection, it will be discussed during a hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s very frustrating,” Barone said. “When you’ve prepared for this matter for several months, when you’re taking a look at everything involved on this case, when you’re required to put everything together and get it ready to go, and then on the day of jury selection you find that there’s something that may be missing, that’s very frustrating.”
As for his client, Barone said Taglianetti has maintained his innocence.
“Mr. Taglianetti is a very solid individual,” Barone said. “He’s done everything we have asked of him. … He was ready to go today. It’s somewhat disturbing for the client when you’ve anticipated your day in court, pretty much, and – for whatever reason – it’s got to be adjourned.”
Taglianetti, a former Dale City, Va., resident is charged with driving to New York and shooting Keith Reed Jr., Clymer Central School superintendent, over an alleged affair between Reed and Taglianetti’s wife.
Police named Taglianetti a suspect in the Sept. 21, 2012, murder of Reed. He was taken into custody days later in Virginia, and in December was extradited to Chautauqua County. On Dec. 19, 2012, Taglianetti pleaded innocent to a second-degree murder charge. Taglianetti appeared in court in July for pre-trial hearings on evidence and identification.
According to Kathleen Krauza, chief clerk of Chautauqua County Supreme and County Courts, roughly 700 jurors received summons in relation to the Taglianetti case. Twelve will be selected to sit on the jury. It is unclear how many will be selected as alternates.
Opening statements on the case are set for Oct. 3.