Local News

May 8, 2013

Manslaughter case goes to jury today


There was no conversation with Taylor to that point, Denno said.

Then he saw Taylor kicking Rennie in the midsection and in the chest.

That was when, Denno testified, he contributed his three kicks.

Mr. Rivers told Taylor to stop, Denno said. “He said he (Taylor) was going too far.”

Mr. Rivers jumped over Rennie to try to physically restrain Taylor, who shoved him aside, Denno said.

Then Mrs. Rivers, now in the driver’s seat of the van, turned the vehicle on.

“Mr. Rennie stood up,” Denno said. “He had his right hand over his midsection and started to run-walk down the hill.”


Denno told Brennan that he had played soccer in school and that his dominant kicking foot was his right foot.

It is Denno’s left boot that was entered as evidence.

The defendant also testified that he told police he had planned to join the Marine Corps but that fell through because he quit school in his junior year of high school.

Brennan asked Denno about red marks on his hand, shown in photographs taken by police.

The marks, he said, came from an injury when he was 16 — he was milking a cow, and it stepped on his hand.

Asked what his intention was that night, Denno answered, “my intention was to just be a bystander and just to stand by my Dad’s side.”

Mrs. Rivers testified earlier that Denno, who is the same age as the Riverses’ two sons, Brendon and Alex, referred to them as “Mom” and “Dad.”

In statements to police, Denno said he had been told that Rennie had threatened to burn down the Riverses’ mobile home, killing them and their children.


Following cross examination by Sprague, both attorneys presented final arguments to the jury, comprised of five men and nine women, including two alternates.

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