Local News

May 9, 2013

Scott Denno guilty, both counts

Convicted of first-degree manslaughter, gang assault


Speaking softly, he thanked the prosecutors and the jurors for their decision.

“We’re very glad for the decision rendered,” he said.

The days of testimony brought the family back through the painful time last summer when Robert was found beaten to death.

“It is reliving it all over again,” Mr. Rennie said.

The family will attend the trials of two other men charged in Robert’s death.


Sprague hugged members of the victim’s family after Denno was taken from the courtroom and the jury had been excused.

“I’m just glad the jury listened to the instructions and applied them to the evidence presented,” the DA said.

“I’m really pleased with the verdict.

The jury was sent to deliberate at about 10:17 a.m. and took just over two hours to reach a decision.

The verdict was read aloud at 1:12 p.m. when court reconvened from lunch.


Denno faces a 25-year determinate sentence on the top count, Sprague said. Meyer set the sentencing for 2:15 p.m. June 27.

The 20-year-old was returned to Essex County Jail without bail pending sentencing.

He has been held there since his arrest last October along with Michael Rivers and Paul J. Taylor, whose trials in connection with the Rennie case are scheduled later this month and in June, respectively.

Tuesday, Denno’s attorney, Joe Brennan, had asked the judge to dismiss all the charges; Meyer dropped the weapon charge relating to the footwear Denno was wearing during the kicking attack on Rennie.

Taylor faces a second-degree murder charge and others for first-degree gang assault and possession of a weapon.


Chief Public Defender Brandon E. Boutelle said separate attorneys were assigned to defend Denno, Rivers and Taylor due to the potential conflict in individual cases.

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