For nearly two weeks, the jury selection for Anthony Taglianetti II's murder trial has been ongoing. No new jurors were seated on Wednesday, and as of Sept. 27 only five jurors had been selected.
Taglianetti, charged with murder in the death of Keith Reed Jr., Clymer Central School's superintendent, over an alleged affair between Reed and Taglianetti's wife, has become one of the higher-profile cases associated with Chautauqua County over the last 20 years.
Due to the publicity Taglianetti has received, finding fair and impartial jurors who haven't made assumptions on the nature of the case one way or another has proven to be difficult.
Mary Beth DePasquale, an associate at Tully Rinckey PLLC in Buffalo, has extensive experience in working on high-profile murder cases. She was the former Erie County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Riccardo McCray for his role in the "City Grill" homicides, in which he murdered four people and shot and injured four others at a restaurant in 2010. While she is not connected to the Taglianetti trial, she agreed to share her legal insights with The Post-Journal.
She said based upon what the law is, both the prosecution and the defense, as well as the judge, need to find jurors who are impartial or open minded - who are willing to listen to the arguments on both sides. As a result, it is not unusual for a high-profile case to take three weeks to find a jury. She said both sides are being careful with the questions they are asking potential jurors and finding out the knowledge they have on the case.
Finding jurors will only be half the battle though. The hardest obstacle for both sides to overcome will be make sure the verdict happens only happens in the courtroom, DePasquale explained. When the trial starts after all the jurors have been seated, it will be up to both sides to make sure the case is tried in the court room and not in the media, she said.
Once the case does start, it is expected to last through November. It will be up to the prosecution to prove beyond any reasonable doubt Taglianetti is guilty of the charges which have been brought up against him.