Murder Trial Wrapping up - Taylor Accused of Stomping Rennie to Death

Murder Trial Wrapping up - Taylor Accused of Stomping Rennie to Death

A murder trial is wrapping up in Elizabethtown New York. A brutal attack left a father of two dead - and three men charged.
A murder trial is wrapping up in Elizabethtown New York. A brutal attack left a father of two dead - and three men charged. Two have been convicted of manslaughter. A third is on trial for second degree murder.

Robert Rennie was killed more than a year ago - and right now, we're in the final stretch of learning just what happened that night.

Nearly every rib was cracked - Robert Rennie collapsed under a bridge in Keeseville New York in the summer of 2012.

 Rennie was stomped by Michael Rivers, Scott Denno and police say -  Paul Taylor.

"The weapon being steel toed boots," Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague said.

Rivers and Denno were convicted of manslaughter.

But police say it was Taylor who threw the deadly blows. Prosecutors call him the ringleader, with a tangled love triangle being the motive.

"That’s not an excuse, that's not a reason to take another life." Sprague said.

In court, Taylor looked far different from this mug shot - his hair has grown out, he wore glasses and little emotion on his face.

"He’s innocent until proven guilty," Sprague said.

The state rested its case today - calling 15 witnesses total. Police, forensics, the medical examiner, and an eye witness, who testified that she said to Paul Taylor, "You're going to kill him" - and he replied "I’m not done yet."

The defense is arguing to reduce the charges from second degree murder to first degree manslaughter - if convicted, that would mean the difference between 25 years and life in prison.

The victim's family has been in court every day, during all three trials.

"It’s heartbreaking and just to have that closure and have this done; I think would be good for everyone," Sprague added.

Neither the victim's family nor the defense attorney wanted to talk with me on camera until after the trial ends.

It’s ultimately up to the judge - but on Monday, there's a chance one of Paul Taylor’s co-defendants, Scott Denno could be called to testify for the defense.

The case is expected to go to the jury, on Monday.

 

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