Nathan Shaw guilty of first degree murder

Former Tyrone resident Nathan Todd Shaw looked square in the eyes of a Blair County jury and pled his case.
“I would never hurt Jared,” he said as tears rolled down his cheeks. “I loved him. He was my son.”
As he took the stand in his own defense, Shaw told a tale of a “mystery man” he heard arguing with his ex-girlfriend upstairs in her two-story townhouse the evening of Dec. 26, 2005. He explained, as his face turned a deep shade of red, how he quickly went into Christina Muoio’s kitchen and retrieved a large knife, then hurried up the stairs in order to come to the aid of her and her son, Jared.
The jury wasn’t buying it, however, as evidenced by its verdict rendered some nine hours after being presented with the case on Thursday.
Near 1 a.m. this morning, following an elongated deliberation period, the decision was issued: Guilty on all counts, including first degree murder for the stabbing death of six-year-old Jared Klein.
Aside from first degree murder, Shaw was also convicted of numerous other charges including two counts of aggravated assault – one for the attack on Muoio and one for the beating of Klein – rape, unlawful restraint and theft of an automobile.
Shaw’s version of the events that led to Jared’s death was decidedly different than the story told by Jared’s mother during testimony two days earlier. Shaw told of a conversation he’d had with the boy he called “son” in the days leading up to the night-after-Christmas attacks, during which Jared said his mother had a “new boyfriend who makes her cry.”
Shaw said he’d come to Tyrone that night to confront the man … and he brought along a roll of duct tape for the occasion.
“I’m not gonna lie to you, I was gonna hurt this guy,” he said to the jury.
“He was trying to keep me from seeing my children. I was gonna tie him up and confront him – he had no right telling me I couldn’t come to Chrissy’s (Muoio) house to see my kids.”
During his testimony, the defendant said the alleged new boyfriend, who Shaw identified as apartment manager of the Tyrone Townhouses where Muoio resided, had sent a letter stating Shaw was no longer allowed on the townhouse property. Shaw explained that this angered him, claiming the apartment manager was only doing it because of the relationship he’d kindled with Shaw’s estranged girlfriend Muoio.
Muoio denies having a relationship with the apartment manager.
Shaw testified that during the first minutes of his unannounced visit to the Muoio residence on Dec. 26, both Klein and Muoio went upstairs, then minutes later, he heard a commotion coming from above. He said he heard Muoio and a “man” arguing and that’s when he went for a knife.
“I ran up the steps as fast as I could,” Shaw testified. “When I got to the top of the steps and turned the corner, Jared was coming the other direction and we ran into each other – the knife was in my hand.
“I knocked him down, into the wall, and fell on top of him,” Shaw continued. “I saw the knife in his neck, I didn’t know what to do. I never meant to hurt him.
“I took Jared downstairs to the living room and tried to give him CPR,” Shaw said as he tearfully continued with his account of that tragic December night. “I started blowing into his mouth, pounding on his chest, but nothing worked. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Shaw said the “man” then came downstairs, saw Jared’s body and “ran out” of the apartment, never looking back.
During prosecution rebuttal, the townhouse manager and his wife were both called as witnesses. They testified that on the night of the murder, they were no where near Tyrone; they were on the other side of the continent in Los Angeles visiting family over the holidays and that they’d received the report of the murder on a cell phone while waiting for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport.
According to Shaw, when Muoio came downstairs and saw her son lying dead on the living room floor, she “lost it.”
“She started screaming, ‘you killed my son!’” Shaw said. “She was hysterical. I tried to explain to her what happened – that it was an accident – but she wouldn’t hear it. She kept saying she was calling the cops and I’d be going to jail for the rest of my life.
“I was scared. I panicked and I hit her. I don’t deny it.”
Shaw admitted to tearing all three of Muoio’s telephones out of the wall and to striking her “numerous times.” He also confessed to taping her mouth and wrists with duct tape, because she was “out of control” and “wouldn’t stop screaming.”
He then told the jury that he carried her upstairs and placed her on her bed. That’s when Shaw’s account of the night took a hard left turn.
“She was really scared and feared for her life,” he said. “She thought I was going to kill her, so she said, ‘get me off one last time before you kill me.’ That’s when I had sex with her. She asked me to.”
This testimony was answered by a chorus of groans throughout the courtroom. Even Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio reacted to the statement, angrily throwing a pen down on the prosecution table and shaking his head.
Defense attorney Theodore Krol did what he could to present a case for a lesser charge of third degree murder or involuntary manslaughter, calling into question the Wednesday testimony of forensic pathologist Dr. Gordon Handte who performed Klein’s autopsy. Krol was able to get Handte to admit that Shaw’s version of the stabbing was “possible” but the medical examiner qualified the statement during Attorney Consiglio’s rebuttal by saying it was “not likely.”
“I submit that the prosecution has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Krol said during closing arguments. “There was no specific intent to kill. This was clearly a tragic accident; a case of involuntary manslaughter. This man was a loving father to Jared and never meant to cause harm that night.”
“An accident?!? An accident?!? Please,” said Consiglio during his closing remarks. “Hate and control had a lot to do with this boy’s
death. He couldn’t stand the thought of Christina having a relationship with someone else. It just so happened that Mr. Shaw showed up unannounced that night. It just so happened that he had a roll of duct tape with him. It just so happened that he was running up the stairs and Jared was running in the other direction. It just so happened that the knife accidentally hit Jared in the jugular vein. It just so happened that all three of the phones in the house were ripped from the walls after this accident, instead of using them to dial 911.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit that he did what he did intentionally and I ask that you find this defendant guilty of first
degree murder.”
When the verdict was read early this morning, Shaw could be heard saying, “What happened to justice? I told the truth.”
The penalty phase of the trial begins today and prosecutors will seek death for Shaw.