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May 2, 2013

Police: Denno changed story many times

ELIZABETHTOWN — A State Police investigator says Scott E. Denno had marks on his knuckles and under one eye when he was questioned about the beating death of Robert Rennie last August.

In Essex County Court on Wednesday morning, Bureau of Criminal Investigation Violent Crimes Unit Investigator Theodore J. Levison testified that Denno told him he had punched a cow once when he worked on a farm, injuring his knuckles, and that the injury to his eye was from a four-wheeler accident.

Rennie’s body was found near the closed iron bridge in Keeseville on the morning of Aug. 26.

Denno, who is from Keeseville, is charged with first-degree manslaughter, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon; Michael Rivers, also of Keeseville, faces the same charges; and Paul J. Taylor is scheduled for trial in June on charges that include second-degree homicide.

‘PLAYED VIDEO GAMES’

Denno changed his story several times about the events on Aug. 25 and 26 leading up to Rennie’s death, Levison told the court.

He said police first interrogated Denno on Aug. 26, while he was at State Police barracks in Plattsburgh waiting for family members who were being questioned.

Levison said Denno told him that on Aug. 25 into Aug. 26 he was playing video games at Michael Rivers’s house all night, except for leaving once with a friend to get cigarettes from a Mobil gas station in Keeseville.

He said he went to sleep on the living-room couch at 3 a.m.

Denno told Levison that he had been living with Rivers and his wife, Angela, since the beginning of that week.

“He referred to them as ‘Mom and Dad,’” Levison said.

DISTINCTIVE BOOTS

Levison captured his first conversation with Denno on a small recording device he kept in the breast pocket of his shirt.

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