Judge criticizes probation department in handling of David Renz rape-murder case
Probation officers ignored 46 alerts set off by David Renz's GPS monitoring bracelet, indicating it had been tampered with. That's according to a highly critical report released by U.S. District Chief Judge Gary Sharpe, which was obtained by Syracuse.com.
According to the report, some of the alerts lasted minutes, but others lasted as long as four hours before the GPS bracelet sent a signal to the monitoring center in Colorado indicating it was working correctly.
The report indicates there were seven long alerts revealing Renz's monitor was tampered with leading up to the day he allegedly killed Lori Bresnahan and raped a 10-year-old girl. Chief Judge Gary Sharpe says the terrible tragedy was committed by just one person, but he does apologize for the crimes committed against Bresnahan and the 10-year-old girl. "To those victims and loves ones, we are profoundly sorry that we were unable to prevent this tragedy," he wrote in the report.
The report makes six critical findings, four related to the location monitoring and two related to the supervision add case planning of Renz.
The judge says he decided to release the report because "I believe our federal courts and all public institutions are immeasurably strengthened by their openness to public scrutiny...the victims, their family and loved ones, and the public deserve no less."
Renz was allowed to be on home confinement using the electronic monitoring device while he faced federal child pornography charges. The unit had been removed from Renz's ankle and reassembled so it continued to send a signal as if it was still attached to his ankle. That's when prosecutors say he confronted Bresnahan and the girl outside Great Northern Mall in Clay and attacked them.
The U.S. Probation office of the Northern District of New York had a lengthy scheduled review in October of 2009 by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. That report included 54 recommendations on how the probation office could operate more effectively based on existing federal guide.
Last week, Renz was arraigned on 37-count indictment on charges of kidnapping, rape, criminal sexual act, murder, and sexual assault related to the brutal attack and murder in Clay. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.