Renz pleads guilty to murder and sexual assault charges

Jul 18, 2013

A brutal murder and rape case that shocked central New York earlier this year is closed. In a plea deal with prosecutors, David Renz, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first degree murder and sexual assault charges in the death of Lori Bresnahan and the rape of a 10-year-old girl in a mall parking lot in Clay last March.  

The deal basically assures that Renz will spend the rest of his life in prison, said Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.

"The defendant has waived appeal. He will be sentenced to life without parole. There is no equivocation about that. There's no games. There's no gimmicks. There's no way he can ever appear in front of a parole board. He will come out of prison in a pine box," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says the only way that could change is if the federal government pursues the death penalty.

"They have a process where an application is made. It is assigned to several senior members of D.O.J. and they would then make a decision on whether to pursue the death penalty. The decision is ultimately made by Attorney General Eric Holder," he said, adding that he is not sure what the federal government will do in this case.

At the time of the crime, Renz was awaiting action on federal child pornography charges. Renz told the court today that he didn't know why he tied up and raped the 10-year old girl and then stabbed Bresnahan to death as she tried to protect the girl. Fitzpatrick believes behavioral scientists who interview Renz will ultimately answer that question.

"I think you'll find a very, very significant relationship between his fascination with violent child pornography and the crime that he committed," he said.

As for the ten-year old dubbed Jane Doe? Fitzpatrick says she is resilient and has the support she needs.
"This is a long term project for Jane. Right now she is surrounded by an incredibly nurturing, loving and supporting environment."