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May 7, 2013

Forensic investigators testify in Denno trial

ELIZABETHTOWN — Steel-toed boots and a pair of sneakers were entered as evidence in Scott E. Denno’s manslaughter trial here on Monday.

Denno stands accused in the death of Robert Rennie, who died of internal bleeding and severe blunt-force trauma following a beating that the prosecution says was conducted not only by fists but shod feet.

On Aug. 26, 2012, Rennie’s body was found lying near the closed iron bridge in Keeseville, on River Street, a village road that connects to Mill Hill beside the Ausable River.

Denno is charged with second-degree manslaughter, gang assault and weapon possession in connection with the death.

Sneakers owned by Michael Rivers and Chippewa boots owned by Paul J. Taylor were added to the evidence list during testimony on Monday. Those two men are also accused in the death of Rennie.

Denno’s boots had already been placed in evidence during the trial last week.

CLOTHING TESTED

Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague called several forensic investigators to the stand in County Court on Monday.

The collection of blood samples, the footwear and clothing spanned several scenes connected to the Aug. 26 discovery of Rennie’s body.

Swabs of what forensic investigators believed was blood were taken from the boots, from several points on Mill Hill Road, from a parking lot nearby and from clothing worn by Rivers and Taylor.

A pair of Calvin Klein jeans taken from the master bedroom at Rivers’s mobile home was presented in court, along with a white, polo-type shirt that the prosecution says, via witness testimony, belonged to Taylor.

It was the shirt that Taylor’s former girlfriend, Samantha LaCroix, said he was wearing the night he was at her apartment drinking with Rennie. It was that night, prosecutors say, that the gang assault took place that resulted in Rennie’s death.

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