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Judge considers bond reduction for Montgomery County snake breeder’s wife

lynlee renick mug
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
Lynlee Renick mugshot

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A judge wants more information on a potential plan to release a woman accused of murder from jail before deciding the issue.

Attorneys involved in the case against Lynlee Renick met Friday morning to discuss a possible bond reduction. Renick's attorney, Tim Hesemann, asked Judge Kevin Crane to release Renick on her own recognizance and place her under electronic monitoring. Renick is currently in jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Lynlee Renick is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly killing her husband, Ben Renick, in 2017 at their Montgomery County home. Ben Renick was a prominent snake breeder in the U.S. whose death left a trail of lawsuits and millions of dollars that ABC 17 News uncovered.

An ex-partner of Lynlee Renick's told the Missouri State Highway Patrol in January that Lynlee confessed to the killing out of fear Ben Renick was going to take their children away from her. The case was moved out of Montgomery County to Boone County for trial.

Crane asked Hesemann for more information on how she would pay for the electronic monitoring service. Hesemann said the company, SCRAM, could provide 24-hour monitoring through a service that pings her location every 15 seconds.

Hesemann went on to attack prosecutors' case against Lynlee Renick. Investigators are without a murder weapon or DNA evidence linking her to the crime, Hesemann said, and prosecutors have "never been able to adequately explain" why Renick is such a risk to the community or why she would flee the area if released.

"The case is ongoing," Hesemann told reporters after the hearing. "Trial, we think, is going to be a year from now. So all of this information is pouring in and there's a lot of information here. But so far, we don't have any murder weapon, clothes, any physical evidence tying this woman to this crime."

Hesemann also questioned the credibility of the ex-partner that spoke to the highway patrol, referred to as "B.B." in court records. The man faces charges in Boone County for allegedly violating a protection order Renick had against him in 2019. Hesemann claimed that text messages show the man threatened to go to the police about Ben's death as part of ongoing dispute over their children.

Montgomery County prosecutor Nathan Carroz said the state had evidence "absolutely corroborating" the accounts witnesses have given them to prove Lynlee Renick killed Ben, but did not say what that other evidence was.

A co-defendant, Michael Humphrey, is also charged with first-degree murder in the case. A probable cause statement said that Humphrey helped Lynlee Renick with the killing. He is set to go to trial in November in Audrain County.

Boone / Columbia / Court and Trials / Homicide / Montgomery / News / Top Stories

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

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