Taglianetti present during pre-trial hearings

MAYVILLE – Investigators and a crime scene specialist testified Tuesday in hearings for the upcoming Anthony R. Taglianetti II murder trial.

The pre-trial hearings were requested by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone, and took place in front of Judge John T. Ward. Taglianetti is facing a second-degree murder charge for the September 2012 death of Clymer schools Superintendent Keith Reed Jr.; Taglianetti pleaded innocent in December after his extradition.

Barone said his office has “taken issues” with the case, particularly with search warrants issued and executed in Virginia where Taglianetti was discovered days after Reed was found shot to death.

“Typically in any type of criminal case you want to look at things that may not have been done correctly,” Barone told the OBSERVER. “In this case we’ve been having issues with a number of different things, including the search warrants and gathering of evidence.”

Taglianetti was present in county court Tuesday, wearing a white shirt, tie and dark jacket. He sat quietly for most of the identification and physical evidence hearings, both of which were held consecutively.

Det. Joseph Medawar of the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia testified on the search warrant applications for Taglianetti’s Dale City, Va., residence and Buick sedan. Medawar said the warrants, issued by a magistrate judge days apart, respectively, were executed by a forensic team.

Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley asked the detective how probable cause was determined when the search warrants were sought. Medawar noted Taglianetti’s wife told police she believed her husband “may have been involved” in Reed’s death.

It was noted in court of emails exchanged between Mary Taglianetti and Reed and of a possible affair between the two.

Andrea Feldman, a crime scene specialist in Prince William County, said she collected numerous items from Taglianetti’s residence and car. Among evidence collected included: clothing, ammunition, weapons, computers, a cellphone and a printed email.

Once secured, the evidence was turned over to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Feldman said.

Barone objected to the search warrants and subsequent evidence. Ward noted the objections, but allowed the prosecution’s exhibits for the hearings.

Also discussed Tuesday was a photo lineup displayed to two Clymer Central School District employees on Sept. 27, less than a week after Reed’s body was discovered outside his residence. Lawrence Klajbor, an investigator with the Sheriff’s Office, told the court both employees identified Taglianetti as the man seen at the school around the time of the superintendent’s death.

Barone had problems with the identification, but would not provide further information. However, Barone asked during the first pre-trial hearing if investigators read from written instructions when providing a photo lineup.

Klajbor said he did not when Taglianetti was identified by the school district employees, although he noted police departments at the time had their own established policies. A standard procedure for photo lineups has since been recommended, he said.

The pre-trial hearing regarding evidence was scheduled to resume today at 9:30 a.m. in Mayville. Foley declined comment until the hearing concluded.