COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A woman accused of killing her husband in 2017 in Montgomery County was sentenced to 16 years in state prison Monday.
Judge Kevin Crane sentenced Lynlee Renick in a Boone County courtroom to 13 years in prison for second-degree murder and three years for armed criminal action.
The defense sought a 10-year sentence, saying the jury found the murder was not premeditated. The defense had argued at trial that Lynlee Renick's husband, Ben, had been abusive.
The argument didn't sway Crane into a lighter sentence -- he went with the jury's recommendation and sentenced Renick to serve the terms consecutively.
"You’re awful lucky, ma'am," Crane told Renick. "You’re going to get out in your 40s, and my 40s weren’t too bad. I just hope you don’t kill again."
The case was heard in Boone County on a change of venue before a jury brought in from Clay County. That jury found Renick guilty in the shooting death of her husband and recommended a 13-year prison sentence.
The prosecution argued Lynlee Renick worked with others to kill Ben, a reptile breeder, for his money.
Crane said at the start of the hearing that he had received several letters urging a harsher sentence but that legally he could not exceed the jury's recommendation.
Ben Renick's brother, Sam Renick, read a statement on behalf of the family. Sam Renick said his former sister-in-law's actions broke apart his family and caused the sale of the family farm. He said Lynlee Renick made up a web of lies to cover up her crime.
"She led me directly to my brother’s dead body, then put on a show, an act," he said.
During her trial, Lynlee Renick claimed she went to the property with her ex-boyfriend, Michael Humphrey, to ask Ben for a divorce and to confront him on alleged sexual assault. That's when Lynlee claims Humphrey shot Ben.
A jury convicted Humphrey of first-degree murder in Ben's death. The conviction was later downgraded after Humphrey agreed to a deal with the prosecution to testify against Lynlee and to work with prosecutors.
Humphrey claims Lynlee was the one who shot Ben.
Lynlee's friend and coworker Ashley Shaw testified in court that she helped Lynlee attempt to kill Ben twice, once by poisoning and then helping to plan the shooting that took Ben's life.
Shaw claims Lynlee was the one who shot Ben. Because Shaw testified against Lynlee in court, she received no charges in Ben's murder.
Last month the prosecution recommended Lynlee receive a life sentence for second-degree murder and 15 years for armed criminal action.
Check back for updates to this developing story.