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Alleged co-conspirators testify in trial over Montgomery County snake breeder’s murder

Ashley Shaw testifies in Lynlee Renick's murder trial Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia.
Image from pool video
Ashley Shaw testifies in Lynlee Renick's murder trial Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Two star witnesses for the prosecution took the stand Monday in the murder trial of a woman accused of killing her snake breeder husband in Montgomery County.

Ashley Shaw and Michael Humphrey were among several witnesses who testified on the first day of the trial against Lynlee Renick. Prosecutors allege both of them plotted with Renick to kill her husband, Ben Renick.

Humphrey, who was convicted of murder last month, is accused of going to Ben Renick's reptile breeding facility with Lynlee Renick the day prosecutors say she shot her husband. Humphrey testified Monday that it was Lynlee Renick who pulled the trigger and that he didn't see the shooting.

Shaw testified for about two hours, saying that Lynlee Renick shot her husband to death after confiding to Shaw that he abused her. Shaw also testified that she tried to help Lynlee Renick poison her husband using painkillers before he was shot to death.

Watch afternoon testimony below

The murder case against Lynlee Renick is being heard in Boone County on a change of venue. The nine women and five men on the jury, including alternates, were brought in over the weekend from Clay County. She is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Defense attorney Tim Hesemann in his opening statements said Lynlee Renick's ex-boyfriend, Michael Humphrey, was solely responsible for the killing and is trying to save himself by pinning blame on her. The defense concedes that Lynlee Renick was with Humphrey and Shaw on the day Ben Renick was killed. However, Hesemann argued Lynlee Renick was shocked by the killing and was not in the house when her husband was fatally shot.

lynlee renick mug
Lynlee Renick

Prosecutors say Shaw came up with a plan to kill Ben Renick for money after Lynlee Renick's spa, where Shaw worked, started having financial struggles. They enlisted Humphrey, who has a history of drug abuse and violence, to help, prosecutor Kelly King said. Humphrey initially denied being involved before telling investigators Lynlee Renick pulled the trigger, King said.

Watch Monday morning's proceedings below

After opening statements, the state began calling witnesses including the Renicks' babysitter, a dispatcher, and a sheriff's deputy and coroner from Montgomery County.

Prosecutors say Lynlee shot and killed her husband on their Montgomery County property on June 8, 2017. Before his death in early 2017, Ben Renick was in the process of selling his snake breeding business for $1.2 million.

Shaw reached a deal with prosecutors and was not charged in the murder.

A jury found Lynlee Renick's ex-boyfriend Michael Humphrey guilty of first-degree murder for helping with the murder in October. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January of 2022.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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