Syracuse criminal defense attorney Donald Kelly of Tully Rinckey PLLC discussed the child rape and murder case with CNYCentral.
The man who is accused of murdering Liverpool school librarian Lori Bresnahan, 47, and raping a 10-year-old girl on March 14 has been indicted by a grand jury, Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
David Renz, 29, is facing a 37-count indictment that includes charges of kidnapping, rape, criminal sexual act, murder, and sexual assault related to the brutal attack and murder in Clay. If convicted, Renz faces life in prison without parole.
Fitzpatrick says his office will not accept anything less than life in prison without parole.
Authorities say Renz attacked and abducted Bresnahan and the little girl as they were leaving a gymnastics class at Great Northern Mall.
He is accused of binding Bresnahan and raping the girl in a deserted area of the parking lot before driving them to Verplank Road where he allegedly murdered Bresnahan. The girl was able to escape and was found running down Verplank Road by two passerby, William Cregg and John Hart, who helped her and called police. Fitzpatrick credits Cregg and Hart for saving her life and says the men will likely receive an award next month.
Fitzpatrick says the little girl, who the DA’s office is calling “Jane Doe,” was saved by Bresnahan. “Lori died, really, saving Jane Doe,” said Fitzpatrick. He says Bresnahan was able to distract Renz so she could get away.
Fitzpatrick says the girl will be a witness at trial. He says she has a very good recollection of what happened and was the only eyewitness. Fitzpatrick says the girl did not witness Bresnahan’s murder.
The DA says the little girl, given the circumstances, is “doing very, very well” and has received services from the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
Fitzpatrick says there is no evidence that Bresnahan had been sexually abused.
Fitzpatrick says there is evidence of Renz purchasing twist ties, pantyhose, and an air gun well before the incident, which were used to commit the crimes. He would not specifically say that the attack was planned.
Fitzpatrick says that if anyone listening has information to call State Police.
The DA says comments to the media will be limited in order to assure Renz gets a fair trial.
Renz had been arrested in January on federal child pornography charges and was out on a pre-trial release program when he slipped out of his monitoring bracelet on March 14th. Fitzpatrick says Renz’s removal of his ankle bracelet is still under investigation.
On Tuesday, a trial date for the federal child pornography charges was set for June 3, although other legal action could delay the start of the trial.
The 37-count indictment for the murder and rape in Clay includes four counts of first degree murder, five counts of second degree murder, one count first degree kidnapping, two counts second degree kidnapping, two counts predatory sexual assault, two counts predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts first degree sexual abuse, four counts second degree menacing, two counts fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, and 13 counts possession of sexual performance by a child.
Renz is being held in Onondaga County Jail. He will be arraigned Friday morning at Onondaga County Court.