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Two people charged in deadly 2017 shooting of Mid-Missouri snake breeder

Benjamin "Ben" Renick
Photo Courtesy: Family of Benjamin Renick
Undated photo of Benjamin "Ben" Renick.


The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office has charged two people in the deadly 2017 shooting of a snake breeder.

Michael Humphrey, 35, of Jefferson City, and Lynlee Renick, 31, of New Florence are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

According to court documents, Renick shot and killed her husband, Benjamin Renick, inside his reptile farm near New Florence on June 8, 2017.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Benjamin was shot several times, including once in the head but nothing was stolen from his business.

A person who Lynlee was having an affair with came forward with new information over the shooting in January 2019, according to court documents. Troopers said the witness told investigators Lynlee was afraid her husband would take their children.

Lynlee allegedly discovered Benjamin planned to end their marriage.

Court documents say Lynlee was also struggling to financially manage her spa business in Columbia, which is now closed.

The highway patrol said Renick and a worker came up with a plan to kill Benjamin with a protein drink laced with narcotics. According to the probable cause statement, Benjamin became sick after he drank the poisonous cocktail but didn't die.

Troopers say Humphrey, Lynlee's ex-boyfriend, joined the plan to kill Benjamin after the failed poisoning attempt. Humphrey decided not to kill Benjamin on the day of the shooting over fears Lynlee would regret killing her husband, according to court documents.

The probable cause statements claim Lynlee shot and killed Benjamin after Humphrey changed his mind.

A third person listed in court documents allegedly helped Lynlee and Humphrey communicate the plan to kill Benjamin.

At last check, that person hasn't been charged.

Renick and Humphrey arrests were in the Montgomery County Jail on Friday on no bond.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
murder case
new florence
reptile farm
snake breeder

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Zachary Farwell

Zachary Farwell is the assignment editor and former senior producer at ABC 17 News.


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