"Motive will tell you why somebody might do it.," says former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark. " Now you have to tell somebody that he did do it. I don't know what he evidence is in this case, but now you move more to the nitty- gritty."
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“Unfortunately, infidelity is not uncommon. Many marriages end because of an unfaithful spouse,” Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley told jurors during his opening statement in Taglianetti’s second-degree murder trial. “However we cannot condone the killing of a man based on his involvement with a married woman.”
Taglianetti’s attorney, however, appeared headed in that direction in his turn before jurors, describing sexually explicit text messages and emails between Taglianetti’s wife, Mary, and victim Reed , which the attorney said continued even during a vacation the Taglianettis took with their four children.
“This isn’t a love triangle gone bad. It’s all about sex,” defense attorney Nathaniel Barone said. “It’s about (Mary) using Keith Reed and Keith Reed using Mary Taglianetti for selfish means.”
In testimony last week, Mary told in fidgety detail of a sexual encounter between her and Reed that took place outside Albany, while she and Taglianetti were separated but not yet divorced.
She was clearly uncomfortable with the testimony, but Clark, the former Erie County prosecutor tells WBEN such moments are essential despite the difficulties.
"When you are looking at a jury, and the jury has to consider whether or not someone has committed and act as abhorrent as murder, they want motive. They want to see ' Why would you do something like that ?' And if I were prosecuting the case I would certainly like to present to the jury this element of the case, " Clark says.
Taglianetti, 43, an ex-Marine, is accused of shooting Reed once in the chest and twice in the back outside the Clymer home where Reed lived alone in September 2012, after first going to the school building and learning he wasn’t there.
The 51-year-old’s body was found more than two days later after his failure to show up at a superintendent’s conference near Albany raised alarms.
Authorities, pointed toward Taglianetti by his wife several days later, arrested him eight days after the shooting near a campsite in Virginia. The handgun used to kill Reed was wrapped in an explicit August 2012 email that Foley said had driven Taglianetti to kill.
“A single email in 2012 resulted in the shooting death of Keith Reed,” Foley said.
During opening statements, Defense attorney Ned Barone referred to Mary Taglianetti as "a master manipulator" and said "Rob Taglianetti is a family man"
Taglianetti, an oral historian at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va., sat straight up in his chair through the prosecutor’s account of the shooting, and as his own attorney placed blame for Reed’s death on Mary Taglianetti.
“It’s not as simple as Rob Taglianetti driving up to kill Keith Reed because of an email,” Barone said, referring to Taglianetti by the middle name by which he is known. “That’s not what happened. Rob Taglianetti did not murder Keith Reed. Rob Taglianetti, as he sits there, is innocent.”
Foley said Mary Taglianetti and Reed had met through an online dating service in 2010 when the Taglianettis were estranged and were briefly involved. The two renewed their acquaintance online in 2012, Foley said.