Posted at: 04/24/2013 12:27 PM
Updated at: 04/24/2013 5:30 PM
By: Kumi Tucker
SCHENECTADY – Tammy McCormack's cousin was thinking she can't imagine this one person can affect so many lives and hurt so many people, as she watched Brice Rivenburgh in Schenectady County Court.
28-year-old Brice Rivenburgh was brought into court before Judge Karen Drago to answer charges including murder, rape, arson and burglary, and family members of the victims of the double homicide were there for his arraignment.
"It was awful," said Doreen Pitsas, Tammy McCormack's cousin. "I hope that no family has to experience what we're going through today."
The bodies of 52-year-old Tammy McCormack and her daughter Jessica were found in their bedrooms in their Inner Drive home in Rotterdam on April 10.
"Jessica was great. She was fun. She had a big heart. Tammy was wonderful, loved her family. Took good care of her family. Would do anything for anyone," said Pitsas.
Authorities say Rivenburgh was Jessica's on-again, off-again boyfriend.
Prosecutors say Rivenburgh raped and killed Jessica, murdered her mother, and stole a television. He is accused of going back to the home two more times after the murders, once for food, and then to set a fire and try to cover up his crimes.
Prosecutors say Rivenburgh even sent text messages to Jessica after he knew she was already dead.
Doreen Pitsas wants to thank the community for its support during a terrible time.
"I can't even begin to tell you, between phone calls and cards and food and flowers and donations, Rotterdam is wonderful."
Rivenburgh pleaded not guilty to all charges and is due back in court July 8.