The Defense Rests
MAYVILLE – The second-degree murder trial for Anthony “Rob” Taglianetti II is likely on the cusp of a verdict.
Public Defender Nathaniel Barone and his defense team rested their case Thursday, leaving closing arguments and jury deliberations for today. Judge John T. Ward informed the jury that it will likely receive the case by noon today.
Though closing arguments could have begun Thursday, Barone, in a passionate appeal, requested that Ward grant him more time to formulate a proper summation.
According to Barone, it was an “unreasonable request” for the defense – which has to review every piece of evidence with the defendant – to formulate an argument in a couple of hours, particularly after sitting through an extensive amount of evidence.
“It affects (my client’s) constitutional right for a fair trial,” Barone said.
Ward allowed the jury to decide how to proceed despite District Attorney David Foley’s wish to start closing arguments Thursday afternoon.
The jury decided to have closing arguments begin this morning.
The decision made for another short day at the Chautauqua County Court, as the defense again called just one witness to testify and further emphasize the presence of guns on Keith Reed Jr.’s property.
Lieutenant Mark Polowy, a member of the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team, confirmed that Reed, former Clymer Central School superintendent, had a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun and two magazines in the center console of his Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
Reed also had a nightstick in one of his two vehicles; the other being a white sedan.
Both vehicles were parked in Reed’s driveway the day police investigated his Clymer home on Sept. 24, 2012, three days after Reed died in an apparent homicide.
During cross-examination, Foley had Polowy confirm that the Silverado was still locked when police tried to open it.
The console that contained the gun was also closed.
The defense later requested to have Sara Alishauskas, a former student at Sherburne-Earlville High School where Reed was once principal, take the stand. Alishauskas, who testified on the first day of the trial about her ongoing friendship with Reed, was supposed to meet with Reed the day after his suspected murder.
According to the defense, Alishauskas’s testimony could reveal more of Reed’s mental state shortly before his death. Ward rejected the defense’s request, explaining that any new information regarding the nature of their relationship would become speculative.
Taglianetti continued to show little to no emotion during Thursday’s proceedings, as he has done throughout the trial.
The 43-year-old, ex-Marine is accused of driving 350 miles from Virginia to Clymer and killing Reed upon discovering an online affair between his wife, Mary, and Reed.
The prosecution, which rested last week after calling 44 witnesses, attempted to formulate an evidence-based case that Taglianetti – in a violent, jealous rage – committed the murder in cold blood.
Prior evidence included video footage of Taglianetti walking toward Reed’s office in Clymer Central School, an ATM receipt from a Virginia bank found near Reed’s body and blood stains on Taglianetti’s revolver that traced back to Reed.
The trial will begin its 10th day in Chautauqua County Court today at 9:30 a.m.