MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Enraged by an email between his wife and a man with whom she'd been involved, Anthony Taglianetti drove 350 miles from his Virginia home to rural upstate New York and shot the man dead, Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley said Tuesday as Taglianetti went on trial for murder.
"Unfortunately, infidelity is not uncommon. Many marriages end because of an unfaithful spouse," 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 Keith Reed Jr., 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."
Taglianetti, 43, an ex-Marine, is accused of shooting Reed, the superintendent of the Clymer Central School District, 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.
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, describing her as a liar and master manipulator who was sexually involved not only with Taglianetti but a second man in North Carolina.
"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.