Local News

May 8, 2013

Manslaughter case goes to jury today


The final instructions will come this morning from Essex County Judge Richard B. Meyer, looking to the remaining charges against Denno.

Brennan urged the jury to listen closely to the instructions.

“You have to be satisfied that the prosecution has proved (guilt) beyond any reasonable doubt,” the defense attorney said.

He claimed that prosecutors did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that every element of either the manslaughter case or the gang assault is satisfied.

“There is going to be no proof to establish various elements,” Brennan said, naming Denno’s “intent” and the legal definition of causes of “serious physical injury.”

“There was nothing that Scott Denno did that he caused the death of Robert Rennie,” he said.

The only intention, Brennan said, of the group that went to LeCroix’s house, was to verify that Rennie was there against a protection order, call police, and they remained in place in case LeCroix was arrested, too.

“The intention was to call police and have Robert Rennie arrested.”


Sprague, in her summation, said Denno already had it in his head that “he was going to hit Robert Rennie.”

And when the cops didn’t come to LeCroix’s home, “now they’re going to handle it on their own.”

The assault, the district attorney said, didn’t stop with a few punches and a shouting match.

“It was Denno and Rivers who dragged Rennie ... to where? Paul Taylor. He (Denno) dragged Robert Rennie to his death. Period. 

“He kicked him along with two other men for a minute, repeatedly kicking an 118-pound man. Rennie didn’t deserve what happened to him,” Sprague said.

“He didn’t deserve to die.”

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