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Police probe leads in LI horseman's slaying

Investigators in Setauket probe the home, left, where

Investigators in Setauket probe the home, left, where homeowner Ross Reisner, 50, right, was fatally shot inside the previous night. (Sept. 25, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp; Facebook

Some four months before Long Island horseman Ross Reisner was fatally shot inside his Setauket home, a box arrived at the stately residence bearing an ominous gift: a dead bird.

That incident and a complaint that Reisner's domestic partner, Kevin Murray, filed against a former tenant are among the pieces of information that police are examining in the slaying, sources said.

It is not known who sent the bird or how it reached the home.

Police officials said Thursday they were still looking for the shooter or shooters.

Reisner, 50, a horse trainer and riding instructor for more than two decades, was shot inside his home Tuesday about 8:45 p.m. Several shots were fired through a first-floor window, striking Reisner once in the chest, police said. He died at the hospital. Murray was grazed by a bullet in the arm, but refused medical attention, police said.

In court papers filed Aug. 30, Murray alleged he had been harassed by the former tenant, Brett C. Knight of Manhattan, who had rented a basement apartment in the Setauket home, according to court papers and Reisner's family.

Knight, 45, was charged with second-degree harassment, a misdemeanor, but failed to appear before a judge in First District Court in Central Islip on Sept. 4 to answer the charge. There is a warrant for Knight's arrest.

In a section of the complaint, Murray said he had "received an anonymously mailed package and several disturbing text messages sent from the now identified incoming phone number of Brett Knight," according to the complaint. "These communications have alarmed, harassed and annoyed Kevin Murray."

Murray and Knight could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Included in the complaint was a statement that Murray filed to police against Knight.

Thursday, Suffolk District Court Judge Karen Kerr granted a request from District Attorney Thomas Spota's office to bar public access to Murray's statement.

With John Valenti


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