Press-Republican

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June 6, 2013

Taylor trial moved to July 1

ELIZABETHTOWN — Paul J. Taylor’s murder trial has been delayed to July 1.

Jury selection had been scheduled to start Monday, June 10. 

Taylor stands accused of second-degree murder in the death of Robert Rennie, a single father who lived in Keeseville.

His is the third and final trial in the murder/gang-assault case; Scott E. Denno, 20, and Michael D. Rivers, 36, were both found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and gang assault in separate trials last month.

WANTS TRANSCRIPTS

Essex County Judge Richard B. Meyer heard arguments from Essex County Public Defender Brandon Boutelle early Wednesday morning, who sought to postpone the case for a few weeks.

Escorted by deputies, Taylor came into the courtroom wearing a jail jumpsuit, ankle chains and handcuffs attached to chains around his waist.

Boutelle asked Meyer for time to obtain final court transcripts from both prior trials, involving sworn testimony from Denno and Angela Rivers, and also from a recent suppression hearing.

The two prior cases in the Rennie homicide had been heard in succession, and some of the court records had not yet been transcribed.

“Do you really need the entire trial transcripts from both trials?” Meyer asked the counselor.

“Yes, your honor,” Boutelle replied, arguing that the credibility of witness testimony is heightened in Taylor’s case.

Taylor is charged with the most serious crime in connection with Rennie’s death.

HIGHER STAKES

Rennie was found lifeless at the bottom of Mill Hill in Keeseville on Aug. 26, face down in the sand. 

His liver was lacerated front and back, and his lungs were both punctured by some 20 broken ribs, according to forensic evidence presented in court.

“You knew these cases were scheduled one right after the other?” Meyer questioned Boutelle. “My concern is that this is some strategy to avoid the trial.”

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