Press-Republican

May 21, 2013

Jury selection continues on Rivers case

Next trial in Keeseville man's death expected to begin today

By KIM SMITH DEDAM Press-Republican
Press-Republican

---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Ten jurors were in place by end of day Monday for the second manslaughter trial in Essex County this month.

Michael D. Rivers stands accused of first-degree manslaughter and gang assault for the beating death of Robert M. Rennie; Scott E. Denno was found guilty of the same crimes two weeks ago.

Completion of jury selection was anticipated by mid-morning today, with opening statements to follow by District Attorney Kristy Sprague and Lake Placid attorney Gregory LaDuke, assigned the case by the Public Defender’s Office.

A Keeseville father of two, Rennie was found lifeless at the bottom of Mill Hill Road in Keeseville after he was kicked repeatedly.

He died of blunt force trauma and internal bleeding. Both of his lungs were punctured by ribs broken in the attack, according to court documents.

A third man, Paul J. Taylor, faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with Rennie’s death in August 2012. His trial is set to begin June 10.

Rivers, 36, is expected to be in court for his jury trial once the selection process is complete.

He was arraigned last October in Elizabethtown Town Court, also charged with possession of a weapon, and has been held in the Essex County Jail.

Denno will be sentenced in late June.

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com