Town of Tonawanda police responded numerous times to domestic incidents at a Sheridan-Parkside apartment in the years before a man was accused this week of fatally shooting his wife there, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said Thursday.
Flynn identified the 49-year-old victim as Renee Taschetta, who lived on Dumas Place with Mario Turner Sr., 51, who is charged with criminally negligent homicide in her death. Flynn said the two lived as husband and wife but he doesn't know if they were legally married.
Flynn, providing new details about Taschetta's death, said an incident of some kind took place at the Dumas Place apartment around 8 p.m. Tuesday. In the aftermath, Turner grabbed a shotgun and shot Taschetta in the base of her neck, the district attorney said.
Flynn said the couple had two adult children who lived on and off in the apartment. Shortly before 9 p.m., one of their children returned to the apartment, discovered the mother's body in the bathroom and called 911.
Turner left the apartment but was found nearby by Tonawanda police Tuesday night. He was arraigned on Wednesday in Town Court.
Flynn said prosecutors could bring a higher charge of manslaughter or murder, in the future, but only if that is warranted.
"The evidence that we have right now only supports the charge of criminally negligent homicide," Flynn said.
Turner also faces a charge of criminal possession of a weapon because his prior criminal history bars him from possessing the shotgun in question, Flynn said. If convicted of both charges, Turner faces a maximum of four years in prison, the district attorney said.
Flynn said he didn't have details on the previous domestic calls to the Dumas Place apartment, but he said on at least one occasion Taschetta declined to pursue charges against Turner. There was no order of protection in place on Tuesday, he said.
Turner is in custody in the Erie County Holding Center, according to his public defender, Nicholas T. Texido, who said his client will seek to apply for bail in State Supreme Court within the next few days. A felony hearing for Turner was set for 11 a.m. Monday.