ELIZABETHTOWN — Despite an apology made in court, Paul J. Taylor was sentenced Monday to spend the maximum 25 years to life in prison.
Essex County Judge Richard B. Meyer delivered the sentence for Taylor's role in the 2012 murder of Robert M. Rennie, a Keeseville man who had two young children.
“Sir, you are a dangerous psychopath … (with) a lifelong pattern of cruelty," Meyer told Taylor, looking him straight in the eye.
The decision came despite legal review of a prior conviction.
Meyer accepted and reviewed statements Monday from defense, suggesting Taylor had not been given proper counsel for a felony plea agreement in 1997. Taylor was convicted in Essex County Court that year of second-degree manslaughter in the homicide death of Marcus Chadwick.
The judge read aloud comments that Taylor had made in court in May 1997 when Judge Jan Plumadore gave the convicted man a chance to speak.
“’I didn’t mean to kill that man or anything like that,'” Meyer quoted from the transcript.
But, Meyer said, there was no request by Taylor for a new attorney or for review of the plea. The judge found no violation of Taylor’s constitutional rights in the 1997 plea agreement.
In fact, Meyer said in delivering the sentence, “the similarity in your conduct that time … and with (the death of) Mr. Rennie … is more than striking.”
Taylor served most of a 15-year indeterminate sentence from 1997 until 2010 for the prior manslaughter conviction.
Meyer went on to list other criminal arrests Taylor has faced since his release in 2010, including criminal possession of a weapon in 2010; domestic assault in Vermont, in 2011 and 2012; and a 2012 arrest for assault in Chesterfield.
Meyer said it “defies all logic and reason that (Taylor) could be rehabilitated. You lack a conscious,” he told the convicted man.