on February 24, 2014 - 6:54 PM
, updated February 25, 2014 at 7:36 AM
MAYVILLE – Kevin Reed promised Chautauqua County District Attorney David W. Foley that he would keep quiet and not cause a ruckus during the trial of Anthony “Rob” Taglianetti II, the Virginia man convicted in November of fatally shooting Kevin’s younger brother, Clymer Central School Superintendent Keith L. Reed Jr.
But all bets were off once Chautauqua County Judge John T. Ward sentenced Taglianetti on Monday to 25 years to life in state prison.
Dozens of members of Keith Reed’s extended family filled the courthouse benches to watch Taglianetti, in a gray, striped prison jumpsuit, led from the courtroom with his arms and legs in shackles.
As Taglianetti shuffled along with his head held high and staring straight ahead, Kevin Reed ripped into the ex-Marine, saying, “Bye, bye Robby,” and then calling him a coward.
Taglianetti, who was accused of flying into a jealous rage upon discovering his wife’s online romance with Reed, said nothing and showed no emotion.
After Taglianetti exited the courthouse, bound for Wende State Correctional Facility, Reed’s family members shared tearful embraces with each other. They also held small posters with a photograph of Keith Reed in front of media members who covered the sentencing.
“He ambushed my brother and murdered him in cold blood. He’s a coward,” Kevin Reed said later on. “He claims to be some wonderful Marine. He’s a disgrace to the uniform.”
Taglianetti, 43, received the harshest sentence possible for his 2012 attack on Reed outside the superintendent’s rural Clymer home.
A jury of five women and seven men found Taglianetti guilty of second-degree murder after seven days of sometimes titillating testimony that included the reading back of lurid email exchanges between Reed and Taglianetti’s wife, Mary.
Mary Taglianetti told jurors she had a brief tryst with Reed in 2010 when she and her husband were separated.
Although the Taglianettis reconciled, Reed, who was divorced, and Mary Taglianetti reconnected in 2012 in a long-distance romance by email, text message and telephone.
Prosecutors said Taglianetti became enraged after finding one of the email exchanges. The former marksman and Marine historian drove 350 miles from his Woodbridge, Va., home and shot Reed three times.
Reed’s body was found in a hedgerow near his home, three days after last being seen by friends and family.
Three of the jurors who found Taglianetti guilty on Nov. 8 met with the Reed family on Monday in a courthouse side room following the sentencing.
“The jurors just wanted to let us know it was an emotional time for them, too,” Kevin Reed said.
One of Reed’s three daughters, Katelynn Olin, read a 20-minute victim impact statement, which included her own thoughts about her father, as well as comments from a teacher and Clymer students. She read her father’s own words from a speech he gave a few years ago.
Olin recalled how her father overcame a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2008, only to succumb to Taglianetti’s “selfish and downright evil decision to take my father’s life.”
She described Keith Reed as the best father she could ever imagine.
“He will never meet his grandchildren. This is what saddens me the most,” Olin said. “They will grow up to discover that a cowardly man took their grandfather’s life away from them before they were born.”
Olin urged Ward to give Taglianetti the maximum sentence, as “Taglianetti has given us a life sentence” without Reed.
When Ward asked if Taglianetti, the father of four children, had anything to say, he responded, “No, sir.”
Ward said he had found overwhelming evidence in favor of the firmest punishment for Taglianetti.
“You devastated not only a family, but a community. It is my foremost hope that you never again see the light of day as a free man,” Ward said.
The murder stunned the small, tightly knit Clymer community in southern Chautauqua County, where Reed, 51, was well-liked and respected.
“It’s a tragedy any way you look at it,” Foley remarked after the sentencing. “Keith’s daughter said it wonderfully when she indicated that really this is all about just a coward acting out on his own to take the life another.”
Defense lawyer Nathaniel L. Barone said Taglianetti wants to appeal.
Kevin Reed, a former FBI agent, said Taglianetti has no grounds for an appeal.
While satisfied with the maximum sentence, “there’s no closure here,” Reed said. “It’s never going to be over for this family.”
He said he hopes Taglianetti is never freed from prison and experiences “a nice slow institutional death.”