Local News

October 1, 2013

Essex County jury gets Taylor murder case


After the kicking incident, Boutelle said, Taylor had to get into the Riverses’ van and in doing so “had to step through fresh blood of Robert Rennie.”

In the month after Rennie was found, Boutelle said, the Riverses designed a plausible tale “because he (Taylor) is their scapegoat. ... They (prosecution) want you to believe Paul Taylor killed Robert Rennie in a jealous rage over a two-day relationship?”

Boutelle asked jurors to take a good look at the evidence, in particular, at Taylor’s left boot.

“Notice where the blood isn’t — on the toes,” the public defender said.


Sprague charged back in her closing statements.

“There is no proof to refute the fact that Paul Taylor disliked Robert Rennie,” she said of Boutelle’s case, drawing her evidence into focus.

“The defendant threatened to beat Robert Rennie. The defendant wanted to be with Samantha LaCroix. It was the defendant who told Angela Rivers, Michael Rivers and Scott Denno that Robert Rennie was at the apartment that night. … Two (witnesses) told you that he wanted Robert Rennie out of the way,” Sprague charged.

“The shark (Taylor) saw the blood in the water and attacked. The defendant saw blood in the water — the opportunity to solve his problem.”

Putting a photo of Rennie’s lifeless body on the overhead screen, she asked, “Does that look like a man who could resist three very big men?”

The medical examiner testified that a steel-toed boot could cause the fatal injuries that killed Robert Rennie, Sprague said.

“(Taylor’s) own friend (Michael Rivers) tried to stop him because he knew Paul Taylor was going too far. … He (Taylor) continued to kick. 

“Ladies and gentleman, that is intent of murder.”


Grabbing Taylor’s left boot from a pile of evidence, Sprague placed it forcefully on the podium.

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