Local News

May 22, 2013

Manslaughter trial begins in Essex County Court.


The trooper said he knew Rennie had previously lived at that location.

When he arrived, Cornell said, Taylor was also at the home, along with LaCroix and her three children.


Also on the stand Tuesday was Brian McNeilly, the former Press-Republican newspaper delivery person who found Rennie and asked a neighbor to call 911.

“I seen a set of legs. I looked. I knelt down. I asked him if he was OK and didn’t get a response,” McNeilly told Sprague.

“I noticed that there was blood on the legs itself.”

McNeilly said he recognized the man. 

“I went to school with Robert Rennie.”

He said he left after emergency medical technician Polly King arrived.

LaDuke presented a photograph of Rennie’s body, entered as evidence, and asked McNeilly where he was standing when he checked on the unresponsive man.

McNeilly couldn’t remember where he knelt down and “shrugged” Rennie’s shoulder.


King also testified Tuesday, telling the court she tried to get a pulse from Rennie’s wrist.

“His body was so stiff, I couldn’t move it.”

She said there was “blood on the back of his head. And blood from his face area.”

She also recognized the victim as Rennie.

A school bus driver, King said, she dropped his two daughters off at their house after school every day.

And “he was there religiously, every day,” she said.

Mr. Rivers sat in court beside his attorney, dressed in a white shirt and khaki slacks and and escorted by court guards.

The jury selection took all of Tuesday morning; testimony began at 1:30 p.m.

The jury — 12 plus four alternates — is made up of 12 women and four men.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. today.

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