ELIZABETHTOWN — A jury convicted Paul J. Taylor on Tuesday of murdering Robert M. Rennie, the father of two young girls.
Taylor, Scott Denno and Michael Rivers were all charged in the beating death of the Keeseville man on Aug. 25, 2012, and Taylor’s was the harshest charge: second-degree murder, along with felony gang assault and possession of a weapon.
Rennie’s family was in court Tuesday, as they have been for every day of every trial since early last summer.
They appeared visibly relieved with the jury’s decision, which came after about six hours of deliberation that included reviewing lengthy portions of witness accounts.
An audible sigh came from prosecution’s side of the galley in the courtroom, and the victim’s father, Robert J. Rennie, hugged Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague as she stepped from the court floor.
FACES LIFE SENTENCE
Taylor stared down at the table where he was standing for the verdict.
Hands clasped in front of him, he showed no reaction when the jury forewoman read their decision aloud.
He faces a maximum life in prison for this conviction.
Taylor had served 14 years — the full sentence — for a prior conviction of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Marcus Chadwick in Moriah in 1997.
Sprague asked Essex County Court Judge Richard Meyer that Taylor be sent without bail to Essex County Jail based on his possible life sentence.
His sentencing was set for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5.
Essex County Chief Public Defender Brandon Boutelle offered no objection, and listened as his client whispered to him with what appeared to be some urgency.
The jury’s decision ended the course of three intense trials and repeated testimony over the past five months.
“We are very relieved,” Sprague said after court closed, “and pleased the jury saw this case for what was presented.”