SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - A Rotterdam man charged with multiple counts of murder, rape and arson in connection to the double slaying of a mother and daughter in their home pleaded not guilty in Schenectady County Court Wednesday.
28-year-old Brice Rivenburgh, of Oaklawn Avenue, was handed a 26-count indictment Tuesday in connection with the April 10th crime which police outlined during a press conference.
The Rotterdam Police Department, New York State Police and the Schenectady County District Attorney's Office announced the upgraded charges against Rivenburgh Tuesday including four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree rape, and sexual abuse in connection to the killings of 52-year-old Tammy McCormack and her daughter, 23-year-old Jessica McCormack.
Members of the McCormack family were present in court for Rivenburgh's arraignment Wednesday.
"It's heartbreaking because we're such a close family and you can't fix this and you can't get them back," said Tammy's cousin, Doreen Pitsas. "All we can hope for is justice and pray. Pray for our family to get through this."
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney says Rivenburgh had an on-again off-again relationship with Jessica, but recently had a falling out. Carney did not confirm a motive behind the crime or say exactly how the women died.
Carney says there were three separate entries into the McCormack residence during the course of the crime. He says the first entry occurred before 2:30 a.m. on April 10th, during which he raped Jessica, caused the death of both Tammy and Jessica, and also stole a television set.
Carney says Rivenburgh then went back into the house twice after killing them; the second entry was made between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. when he took food containers from the home. He was then seen around 6 a.m. burning the shirt he was wearing at the time of the crime and a bank statement.
"It was the fact that his name wasn't burned when the patrol officer got to [the document] that he as able to identify it as potentially belonging to Rivenburgh." Carney says officers later found Rivenburgh shirtless in his car outside his home.
The third and last entry was made around 10 a.m., according to Carney, when he attempted to start a fire in Jessica's bedroom. Police do not believe he forced his way into the home at any point.
Brad McCormack, Jessica's brother, arrived at the home shortly after when his mother's place of work called to inform him she had not shown up.
The women were discovered dead in separate upstairs bedrooms in their home at 1142 Inner Drive in Rotterdam.
Carney says Tuesday that Rivenburgh faces arson for starting fire in the bedroom and multiple evidence tampering charges for trying to cover up the slayings by texting Jessica twice after she was dead, first saying something along the lines of "Do you want to hang out today?" and second saying "Are you still mad at me?"
Rivenburgh was initially charged with burglary after the killings, which police say they were using to hold him while they conducted their two-week investigation.
Local News <a href="http://www.wten.com/category/173731/-local-news">More>></a>Local NewsMore>>
ALBANY, N.Y. – A full service dog training facility is opening up in Albany. On Saturday morning, All Dawgs Training Services will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new business. During the ceremony,More >>
A full service dog training facility is opening up in Albany.More >>
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Union hockey player Shayne Gostisbehere made his professional hockey debut at the Adirondack Phantoms game Friday night. Gostisbehere hit the ice for the first time all season withoutMore >>
Union hockey player Shayne Gostisbehere made his professional hockey debut at the Adirondack Phantoms game Friday night.More >>
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Adirondack Phantoms played their last ever home game at the Glens Falls Civic Center Friday night. The Phantoms sold out the arena for the fifth time this season. For many, itMore >>
The Adirondack Phantoms played their last ever home game at the Glens Falls Civic Center Friday night.More >>
SARATOGA COUNTY – The Saratoga County Sheriff has confirmed a single car accident in the area that left no survivors. He says the vehicle hit a tree, but will not confirm at this time how many peopleMore >>
A fatal single car accident in the area Burgoyne Road between Hayes Road and DeGarmo Road is under investigation. More >>
CHESTERTOWN, N.Y. – A Brant Lake teen is under arrest after police say he impersonated an officer. The Warren County Sheriff's Office arrested Tyler Eves, 18, for Criminal Impersonation. On April 12,More >>
A Brant Lake teen is under arrest after police say he impersonated an officer.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Albany Police Department is currently investigating a shooting. Officers responded to a report of an assault around 11:30 p.m. Thursday in the area of Garden Street and Raymo Street.More >>
The Albany Police Department is currently investigating a shooting.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – Officials say Jesse Sawyer Jr. is scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday in Albany. Sawyer, 25, has been in police custody in Florida since the end of March. The Troy man is accusedMore >>
Jesse Sawyer Jr. appeared in federal court on Friday in Albany. More >>
HUDSON, N.Y.—State Police arrested a Youth Safe Center employee after an investigation that took place in March. Sheldon Ridley, 32, of Hudson had allegedly been sexually abusing a female resident at theMore >>
State Police arrested a Youth Safe Center employee after an investigation that took place in March.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—The search for a missing woman with symptoms of dementia has come to an end after police confirm she has been located. Wilma Trotter, 60, was missing for over a week before she was located.More >>
The search for a missing woman with symptoms of dementia has come to an end after police confirm she has been found alive. More >>