Local News

May 7, 2013

Forensic investigators testify in Denno trial


Both clothing items had holes where forensic scientists had cut out some of the fabric in order to test swatches for DNA.


State Police Senior Investigator Allan Wright described how evidence was collected by his team over several days and at different locations.

The crime scene allegedly stretched from the Front Street apartment rented by LaCroix, who was also Rennie’s former girlfriend; along Front Street, where testimony places Rivers and Denno at a first confrontation with Rennie, where they engaged in a fistfight; and then down Mill Hill Road, where, a witness said, the two men dragged Rennie to an area near a parking lot close to the bottom of the hill and where Taylor joined them in beating Rennie.

His body was found not far from that location near the barricade on the iron bridge.

Wright said the investigators first searched the area around where Rennie was found.

“Anything we found that was out of place, we secured,” he told Sprague.

Wright said they did not find a beer bottle or any broken bottle along Front Street, which is where Denno had told police Rennie had dropped one.

They did find an empty plastic Canadian Ltd. whiskey bottle and secured that item, Wright said.


Sprague and Assistant District Attorney Michael Langey called New York State Police forensic scientist Brian Murphy to the stand on Monday afternoon.

Murphy said he was able to establish genetic profiles for Denno, Rivers and Taylor taken from cans of Mountain Dew and a water bottle the men drank from during the police questioning session at State Police barracks in Plattsburgh.

Murphy said that swabs from the Michelin boots owned by Denno, from Rivers’s sneakers and from the Chippewa boots owned by Taylor were all positive for Rennie’s DNA, with a statistical match close to 1 in 250 billion.

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