Investigators take the stand
MAYVILLE – A forensics investigator confirmed that an ATM receipt found near the body of Keith Reed Jr., slain Clymer Central Schools superintendent, was traceable to Virginia, the home state of Anthony R. Taglianetti II.
According to Michael G. Williams, sergeant investigator for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and member of its forensic investigation team, the receipt was recovered approximately 20-25 feet from Reed’s body, which police had previously found in a brush line near Reed’s Clymer household, three days after an apparent homicide on Sept. 21, 2012.
The receipt showed its origin as Linden, Va., approximately 60 miles northwest of Taglianetti’s home in Woodbridge,Va.
Moreover, Williams said it was found lying inside a stretch of tire tracks in the grass that approached very close to Reed’s body.
Williams was one of many law enforcement officials to testify Tuesday, as the second-degree murder trial of Taglianetti began its second week in Chautauqua County Court, delving into several pieces of evidence gathered upon Taglianetti’s arrest in Bath County, Va. on Sept. 28, 2012.
According to Andrea Feldman, crime scene specialist with the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia, who performed the initial forensic investigation of Taglianetti’s vehicle on Sept. 28, 2012, an encased handgun was found underneath the vehicle’s driver seat.
The gun, identified as a Taurus .357 magnum by David Morton, Chautauqua County investigator, was a six-round revolver with two rounds – .38 specials – left in the chamber. A box of .38 special cartridges was found inside Taglianetti’s car.
In addition to the revolver, the gun case contained a paper copy of an email that showed correspondence between Taglianetti’s wife and Reed in August 2012. The correspondence included a message from Taglianetti himself, who had forwarded his wife’s messages to her parents in Upstate New York.
Pointing to an enlarged photograph of the revolver, Feldman also indicated her findings on the gun’s barrel.
“There is reddish-brown staining on the end of the barrel (and inside the gun case),” Feldman said.
DNA samples were collected, but not yet discussed.
Other items found in Taglianetti’s vehicle were a .22-caliber rifle, a box of .22 caliber ammunition, a cellphone, a laptop, a pair of sunglasses and a map of George Washington National Park.
Public Defender Nathaniel Barone sought to find errors in the investigators’ handling of evidence, looking for areas in which the integrity of evidence was potentially compromised by either negligence or incompetence.
No notable errors were discovered.
The prosecution also called the brother of Reed’s ex-wife to the stand, who said he called Reed’s cellphone shortly after learning he was missing. The phone call was answered by an unidentifiable person.
The FBI later traced Reed’s cellphone to a roadside construction area off of Interstate 81, north of Harrisburg, Pa. The phone was described as “severely damaged” by Christopher T. Nawroski, the FBI special agent who retrieved it.
The trial is scheduled to continue today at 9:30 a.m.