Local News

May 22, 2013

Manslaughter trial begins in Essex County Court.


And, the defense attorney said, Taylor’s whereabouts are unaccounted for from about 12:20 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 26.

“Nobody can tell where he was,” LaDuke said. 


Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague outlined the case against Mr. Rivers, saying all of the testimony to come in his trial is “pieces of one big puzzle.” 

She contends that Mr. Rivers’s actions dealt serious physical injuries that caused Rennie’s death.

And, Sprague said, he acted in concert “with requisite intent” to cause the wounds that left the Keeseville father of two young girls mortally injured.

“The defendant didn’t like Robert Rennie. He made that very clear … in the past,” Sprague said. “The defendant’s hatred for Robert Rennie led him … to fighting with (Rennie) and dragging him (to the dark Mill Hill location).”

Sprague said the defense would argue that Mr. Rivers wore sneakers.

“But the People will prove,” she said, “that he wore those sneakers, and he kicked and he kicked … he used them to injure another person … taking his life in the end.”


The first few witnesses Tuesday came in a sequence similar to that of Denno’s trial.

State Police Trooper Keith Paine testified that an anonymous woman placed a call to the 911 Plattsburgh dispatcher (on Aug. 25) saying that Rennie was with his former girlfriend, Samantha LaCroix, at the Front Street apartment they used to share, despite an order of protection.

Paine said he and Trooper Andrew Cornell headed to the LaCroix home at that time but were diverted to a fatal car accident on Interstate 87.

Cornell told the court that, after leaving the fatal crash, they went to two other calls before being rerouted to Keeseville for an unattended death, which turned out to be Rennie’s.

Cornell said that, after he told the sergeant there that he had been called to the LaCroix residence earlier that night, he proceeded to go up the road to her apartment house to see if she was all right.

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