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Man pleads not guilty to Rotterdam double murder

Brice Rivenburgh
Brice Rivenburgh
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Updated: 4/24/2013 12:41 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - A Rotterdam man charged with multiple counts of murder, rape and arson in connection to the double slaying of of 52-year-old Tammy McCormack and her daughter, 23-year-old Jessica McCormack 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 by the Rotterdam Police Department, New York State Police and the Schenectady County District Attorney's Office. The upgraded charges against Rivenburgh include four charges of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree rape, and sexual abuse.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney says Rivenburgh had an on-again off-again relationship with Jessica, but recently had a falling out.

Carney said Rivenburgh entered the women's home three times the morning of the crime.

"There were three separate entries into the McCormack residence. During the first entry, he caused the death of both Tammy and Jessica and also stole a television set," Carney said.

Carney says Rivenburgh then went back into the house twice after killing them, taking among other things food containers and then trying to set fire to the home.

"He was burning a shirt that he was wearing at the time of the crime and a document which had his name on it," Carney said. "It was the fact that his name wasn't burned when the patrol officer got to it that he as able to identify it as potentially belonging to Rivenburgh." He says officers then found Rivenburgh shirtless in his car outside his home.

Carney says Tuesday that Rivenburgh faces arson for allegedly starting a fire in a bedroom and 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?"

The women were discovered dead in separate upstairs bedrooms in their home at 1142 Inner Drive in Rotterdam. Police do not believe he forced his way into the home.

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.
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