Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abington, MA: UPDATE: Brother of slain Abington woman testifies

John Tassanari is charged with killing his wife, Barbara Tassinari.

By Allan Stein
Enterprise Correspondent
Posted Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:16 PM
Last update Oct 21, 2010 @ 03:40 PM

Frank Scolaro, who ran to his sister’s aid when she was fatally shot outside her Abington home, has concluded his testimony in the murder trial of his brother-in-law, John Tassinari.
With tearful family members looking on, Scolaro recalled the night of April 22, 2008, when he heard gunshots outside while watching a Red Sox game inside his Abington home.
He said he called 911, then grabbed his .32-caliber pistol and went next door to see whether his sister, Barbara Tassinari, and his brother-in-law were all right.
“I went pretty quickly. I went next door. That's when I saw my sister.”
Family members looked on tearfully and John Tassinari cried as Scolaro described finding his sister’s body in the driveway of her home at 55 Pilgrim St.
“I went over and hugged her,” he said.
Prosecutor Sharon Donatelle asked him to describe her appearance.
His voice quavered: “She was all shot up.”
Scolaro said he chased John Tassinari into the middle of the street and ordered him to lie face-down.
“John, what did you do? Why? I kept yelling for him and yelling for him,” Scolaro recalled saying. “At that point, he was in front of me.”
“She’s been cheating on me,” he recalled his brother-in-law saying. “She’s always been cheating on me.”
Prosecutors, who are trying to prove that John Tassinari planned his wife’s murder, asked Scolaro whether his brother-in-law seemed emotional as they waited for police to arrive.
Scolaro testified that he did not.
Scolaro was the third witness in the trial at Brockton Superior Court, where prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder conviction against John Tassinari, 32, in connection with the death of his wife, Barbara Tassinari, 29.
Earlier Thursday, jurors heard testimony from Janine Farren, who was working at nearby D’Ann’s restaurant and was outside on a cigarette break just after 10 p.m. the night of the shooting.
She said she saw a man emerge from the Tassinari house and heard four or five shots in rapid succession.
“It was bang, bang, bang, bang,” she said. “I just stood there. I was in shock.”
Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Sharon Donatelle then asked Farren whether she heard anything else.
“A woman screamed,” Farren said. “It was a horrible, gut-wrenching scream like I never heard in my life.”
Farren said she heard the sound of metal being dropped on the ground, then saw the man go up the stairs of the back deck and into the house. He came out and began firing again, she said.
Prosecutors say John Tassinari, a licensed firearms instructor, emptied the clip of a .40 caliber Glock pistol, dropped it, went inside his house to get a .45-caliber Glock pistol, went back outside and continued firing.
In all, they say Barbara Tassinari was shot 18 times, including 10 times in the head.
John Tassinari’s lawyer, William Sullivan of Quincy, said in his opening statements Wednesday that his client did not plan to shoot his wife but rather “snapped” when she told him she was having an extramarital affair. He is trying to show that John Tassinari is guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

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