RIP Ben Renick

Lynlee Renick convicted of second-degree murder of snake breeding husband

A jury of seven women and five men selected from Clay County voted Wednesday to convict Lynlee Renick of second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

She killed her husband, Ben Renick, a well-known Montgomery County snake breeder June 8, 2017. He was shot eight times.

Renick conspired with employees of her Columbia spa Ascensia and an ex-boyfriend to murder Ben Renick.

The jury deliberated for roughly 11 1/2 hours, over Wednesday and Thursday.

Renick was out on her own recognizance throughout the trial and after the reading of the verdict, the state moved to have her bond denied and she was returned to custody before sentencing.

Following the reading of the verdict, Renick was seen sobbing and holding onto one of her defense staff for support.

The employees, Ashley Shaw and Rachel Hunt, testified against Lynlee as part of immunity deals with prosecutors. Ex-boyfriend Michael Humphrey was convicted in October in Audrain County of the crime.

He worked out a deal with prosecutors for a lesser charge and sentence when he provided the location of the murder weapon.

Lynlee Renick, took the stand in her defense Wednesday, alleging it was Humphrey, not her to pull the trigger. She said she never planned to kill her husband, but needed moral support June 8, 2017 to tell Ben she wanted a divorce. Lynlee Renick alleged Ben had recently become physically and sexually abusive to her.

The jury could have found her guilty of first-degree murder but also had the options of second-degree murder, or first- or second-degree involuntary manslaughter under instructions read by Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane.

Ben Renick's brother, Sam, who Lynlee had tried to deflect blame onto after Ben's, was seen thanking investigators and prosecutor Kelly King at the interval between the verdict and sentencing phases of the trial. Sam Renick was present for the entirety of the trial.

Throughout the investigation and this case all Lynlee Renick has done is deflect and lie, special Prosecutor Kevin Zoellner said in his closing argument Wednesday before the jury deliberated its verdict.

After all of the marital problems, financial issues and earlier attempted poisoning they all led to the elaborate plan to kill Ben Renick, he said.

"This was preplanned," Zoellner said, "We know she offered Humphrey money and had encouraged him. Even if she had done it all herself, she still would be guilty of murder in the first degree."

All of the statements of the prosecution witnesses were backed up by other evidence. Lynlee Renick's testimony was not backed up by supporting evidence, Zoellner said. Her actions only to bolster her alleged alibi, he added.

Lynlee Renick's story changed even when talking about it among her co-conspirators, he argued.

"Why didn't she call 911 when she started to worry about not hearing from Ben," Zoellner said. "...Don't be fooled by what (the defense) wants you to believe. Believe the evidence."

Lynlee Renick in a moment of indescribable trauma made poor decisions, her defense attorney Timothy Hesemann.

Lynlee is not a violent person and even prosecution witnesses said this, he said. There was no plan for murder, there was just plans for divorce.

"You don't do favors for first-degree murder. You do favors for helping plan a divorce," Hesemann said, about the assistance of Shaw, Humphrey and Hunt. "...Lynlee has no proficiency in using weapons."

If the investigation into Lynlee Renick was so strong, why did investigators have to resort to threats of jail for her co-conspirators and why did they believe the word of a boyfriend who had bits and pieces of the story — Brandon Blackwell — who is facing stalking charges in relation to Lynlee, Hesemann argued.

"People who want to know what the truth is, would not do what these police officers did," Hesemann said. "Lynlee Renick did not know Ben was going to die that night. The lack of evidence has proved that."
so she might do 7 or 8 then? Michael also got 2nd degree and had life sentence.
justice... smh
Didn't she stab him like more than 20x and also put a shotgun extremely close range to his head? It literally blows my mind how she could be out in 7 or 8 years. Makes me sick to my stomach! I would understand if he was abusive or something like that but he was the most standup guy ever... HOWWWW in the world she only get that?! I feel soooo bad for Ben's family.
Update from last month

Judge keeps Lynlee Renick from collecting husband’s inheritance


A Montgomery County judge agreed to bar a woman convicted of killing her husband from collecting any part of his inheritance.

Judge Richard Scheibe ruled Thursday that Lynlee Renick cannot earn any money or property from Ben Renick's remaining estate.

A court-appointed guardian of Ben's assets asked the judge on Aug. 8 to bar Lynlee from collecting from the prolific snake breeder's estate. A jury convicted Lynlee in December of second-degree murder and armed criminal action for Ben's 2017 death. She and ex-boyfriend Michael Humphrey killed Ben at his snake farm, while each of them blames the other for pulling the trigger.

Administrator Carla Wood Tanzey argued that Lynlee's "misconduct" kept her from collecting property or estate allowances. She asked that Ben and Lynlee's daughter be considered the sole heir to Ben's estate.

Court records do not show how much Ben's remaining assets are worth. An ABC 17 News investigation previously found that Ben Renick had sold thousands of his snakes to NHL goaltender Robin Lehner for $1.2 million. The reptile business and Lehner settled a court dispute coming out of Ben's death on undisclosed terms. Lynlee Renick sold their Montgomery County property in 2018 for $740,000.

Ben's brother, Sam Renick, told ABC 17 News that the family was grateful Judge Scheibe stopped Lynlee from being able to collect anything from the estate.