May 24, 2013

Testimony: Rennie blood on Rivers's jeans

ELIZABETHTOWN — Blood on Michael D. Rivers’s Calvin Klein jeans belonged to Robert Rennie, a forensic scientist testified Thursday in Essex County Court.

Sets of DNA profiles and the evidence they came from filled a courtroom table as Rivers’s trial for first-degree manslaughter continued.

He is one of three men who were charged in the beating death of Rennie, who was found dead near a barricaded bridge in Keeseville on Aug. 26, 2012.

State Police forensic scientist Brian Murphy said several stained area on the jeans tested positive for the presence of blood.

The forensic analysis compared DNA from the blood stains with known profiles of Rennie, he said.

And he explained to the jury how DNA profiles are developed in the Albany lab from swabs of blood or bloody patches of clothing.


Assistant District Attorney Michael Langey questioned Murphy, sorting through numerous stains on Rivers’s jeans and on the shoelace eyelets of his sneakers.

Directing Murphy’s attention to the final lab report, he asked about certain areas of Rivers’s jeans.

“When compared to (the DNA profile) from Robert Rennie, it matched,” Murphy said.

And blood from the right sneaker was “consistent with DNA from Robert Rennie,” he said, noting that it was mixed with at least one additional donor’s DNA that could not be determined.

Another bloodstain from the tongue of Rivers’s right Nike Trail sneaker also matched Rennie’s DNA, he said.

Langey established that blood stains consistent with Rennie’s DNA profile were found on the Chippewa boots that Paul J. Taylor had worn on the night Rennie died and on one of the Michelin boots worn by Scott E. Denno.

Taylor, 39, is charged with second-degree homicide in Rennie’s death.

Denno, 20, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and felony gang assault by another jury two weeks ago.

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