Local News

October 6, 2012

Three charged for Keeseville murder

Allegedly beat, kicked man to death in August

ELIZABETHTOWN — The man charged with murdering Robert Rennie in August had earlier served 13 years in prison for killing another.

Paul J. Taylor and two other Keeseville men were arraigned in Elizabethtown Town Court at about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Taylor, 39, already in Essex County Jail on an unrelated charge, faces charges of second-degree murder, felony gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Michael D. Rivers, 36, and Scott E. Denno, 19, were charged with first-degree manslaughter, felony gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon. 


Rennie, a widower with two young daughters, was found dead near the closed iron bridge on River Street early on the morning of Aug. 26. 

He was 45 years old.

An autopsy determined the death was a homicide, and a few more details emerged in court on Friday.

State Police did not release any information about motive, but Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Captain Robert LaFountain said Rennie was kicked and savagely beaten. He died of “severe internal injuries,” he said.

The alleged murder weapons were steel-toed boots and sneakers.

Evidence suggested, according to police, that the assault took place at the top of a hill with a pathway that leads down to the bridge.

“Time of death is late Saturday night, early Sunday morning,” LaFountain said.

“He (Rennie) was able to get to the location where he was found, near the bridge.”

The body of the Keeseville man was discovered at 6:14 a.m. by a paper-delivery man working for the Press-Republican.


Gang assault, according to New York Law, occurs when an assailant is “aided by two or more persons actually present.”

Arraigned before Elizabethtown Town Justice William M. Garrison, none of three men opted to have the charges read aloud.

Taylor, flanked by three Essex County Public Defenders, shackled and wearing striped prison garb, said his residence is “in County Jail right now.” 

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