Updated 12/02/2010 06:02 AM
Man charged with murdering father
A Trumansburg man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his father. Police say 28-year-old Matthew Taranto shot his father, Sal, numerous times in the chest and torso. But his attorney says this isn't a murder case at all. Our Tamara Lindstrom has the details of this case.
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TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. -- Police say it was in the basement of their Trumansburg home that 28-year-old Matthew Taranto shot his father late Tuesday night.
"It's alleged that my client shot his father in the stomach several times," said defense attorney Scott Miller.
Sal Taranto, a former Nassau County police officer, was able to get across the street to a neighbor's house before he lost consciousness and later died. His son, still in the home, surrendered to police. Matthew pleaded not guilty to the charge of second degree murder.
"This clearly isn't a murder case," Miller said.
Miller said his client was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as a child.
"He does not have the intellectual affect of a 28-year-old adult. He has the intellectual affect of a child. He was shocked to learn that he's being charged with murder," Miller said. "He wanted to talk about the comic books that he likes to read."
Miller said the alleged crime was done in self defense and that minutes before the shooting, Taranto's father entered his son's bedroom and threatened him with a loaded gun. Miller said according to witnesses, this was not the first time it happened.
"When his father pulled a weapon on him, my client was clearly afraid for his life," Miller said.
Matthew Taranto is being held in the Tompkins County Jail. He is scheduled to return to court next week.