Local News

November 20, 2013

Rivers sentencing moved to January

ELIZABETHTOWN — The sentencing for Michael D. Rivers has been adjourned for a third time.

Convicted of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree gang assault by an Essex County jury at the end of last May, he was originally scheduled for sentencing in August.

But Rivers requested a change of attorney for the final step in his case.

Judge Richard B. Meyers granted the request, and sentencing was adjourned first to mid-September, due to new counsel.

It has been moved again, this time to Jan. 9, 2014. 

According to the court clerk, Rivers’s attorney, Alexander Shmulsky of Ticonderoga, needs additional time to go through the transcripts and materials related to the case.

Rivers was found guilty after a week-long trial for his role in a vicious kicking assault that caused the death of Robert M. Rennie, a Keeseville widower with two young children. 

The guilty verdict carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence.

Two men who acted in concert with Rivers were also found guilty.

Scott E. Denno was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and gang assault after a trial that ended early last May. He was sentenced in August to the maximum 25 years.

And Paul J. Taylor was convicted Oct. 1 of second-degree murder, gang assault and possession of a weapon. He is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Dec. 5.

Trial testimony and evidence revealed Rennie, 45, had been kicked severely enough to lacerate his liver and fracture his ribs in more than 15 places.

He was found lifeless on the morning of Aug. 26, 2012, prostrate in the dirt near the barricade of the closed iron bridge at the foot of Mill Hill in Keeseville.

Denno has mounted an appeal in his case.

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