An indefensible act, David Renz pleads guilty to murder; Matt's Memo

Lori Bresnahan.

Even the county's top prosecutor can't quite believe the horrific violence that came from a man so slight of build and quiet in demeanor. Yet there was David Renz reading from prepared text as he admitted to the court he had raped a little girl and viciously murdered Liverpool school librarian Lori Bresnahan.

After the court appearance reporters asked the defense attorney whether the guilty plea was related to all the negative attention the case has received in Central New York. The reporters asked if the guilty plea was related to the possibility of federal charges that could have brought the death penalty. The answer the defense attorney gave to the challenge of going to trial was the mountain of evidence that his client was indeed guilty. He pled guilty because he did it.

David Renz does not seem to understand why he did it. At least he didn't share any insight into the savage acts committed in March. D. A. Bill Fitzpatrick said his only motivational thread is the violent child pornography Renz had watched and possessed that lead to his federal arrest earlier in the year. He acted out sexual violence that appeared in some of the videos he saved on his encrypted hard drives.

There's a sharp, often coarse discussion in the digital world of social media about what will happen to Renz in prison as he serves this life sentence. That talk is intertwined with angry people calling for the death penalty for Renz. Bill Cregg, the man who was first on the scene the night of the attacks, told us tonight the death penalty would not accomplish anything more productive than the sentence of life without parole.

Renz told the court he would talk with the feds. Help them learn about his mind and his actions to see if something can be gleaned that would stop other similar criminals from acting out in the future. Sadly, no one figured that out before Lori was killed and the little girl was raped.

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