MAYVILLE – Whether or not Anthony R. Taglianetti II killed Keith Reed Jr. in Clymer last year, two things are for certain: Reed’s blood was on the suspected murder weapon and a recovered bullet matches the gun’s caliber.
The second-degree murder trial of Taglianetti concluded its seventh day in Chautauqua County Court on Thursday, with the prosecution returning to forensics and conclusively tying the reddish-brown stains found on Taglianetti’s revolver to Reed, the former Clymer Central School superintendent who was killed in an apparent homicide on Sept. 21, 2012.
According to Amanda Brinton, the forensic investigator who conducted the DNA analysis of Taglianetti’s revolver and gun case at the New York state forensic investigation center in Albany, the reddish-brown stains inside and around the gun’s barrel matched the blood profile of Reed.
Moreover, the blood found inside Taglianetti’s holster and gun case also matched Reed’s sample.
Brinton weighed her findings with a statistical calculation, saying that the chances of the blood stains belonging to anyone else were less than one in 300 billion.
The testimony was supported by Theresa White, a forensic scientist at the same investigation center, who stated that Taglianetti’s DNA profile – which was obtained through a buccal swab – matched with DNA found on the revolver’s cylinder and extractor rod.
Public Defender Nathaniel Barone had Brinton confirm that DNA found on the trigger was inconclusive.
The prosecution’s next witness, Robert Freese, a firearms examiner with the New York state division of criminal justice, attempted to seal the prosecution’s case by indicating that the bullet found in Reed’s shirt sleeve – during Reed’s autopsy – was compatible with Taglianetti’s .357 Taurus magnum revolver.
“It’s not impossible,” said Freese, in response to whether the recovered bullet came from Taglianetti’s revolver.
However, Freese, who previously test-fired the revolver, said the markings and characteristics on the bullet – which are natural effects of expulsion through any particular barrel – were not enough to determine conclusively if the bullet came from Taglianetti’s gun.
During cross-examination, Freese told Barone that the bullet could possibly have been fired from a number of different weapons.
When asked if those other weapons were in excess of 100, Freese responded, “that would be accurate.”
Freese was the prosecution’s 44th and final witness as they rested their case at the end of the day.
According to Barone, nothing in the prosecution’s case came as a surprise. He said he will convene with his team until trial resumes Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.