Wife of Missouri snake breeder arrested in his 2017 death

January 17, 2020 GMT

NEW FLORENCE, Mo. (AP) — The wife of a mid-Missouri snake breeder who was killed in 2017 was charged Friday along with a second person in the man’s death, authorities said.

Lynlee Renick, 35, of New Florence, and Michael Humphrey, 35, of Jefferson City were charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the June 8, 2017, shooting death of Renick’s husband, Benjamin Renick, 29, at his reptile farm near New Florence.

A person who was having an affair with Lynlee Renick provided information in the case in January 2019. Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers said in court documents that Renick discovered her husband planned to divorce her and she was afraid he would take their children, KMIZ-TV reported.


Before the shooting, Renick and another person tried to poison her husband with a narcotics-laced protein drink, which made him ill but didn’t kill him, according to the probable cause statement.

Humphrey, Lynlee Renick’s ex-boyfriend, joined the plot at that point but it was Renick who shot her husband, according to court documents.

A third person who allegedly helped them has not yet been charged.

Renick and Humphrey were being held in the Montgomery County jail on no bond. Online court records do not name attorneys for them.

Benjamin Renick specialized in breeding designer pythons and sold the nonvenomous snakes nationwide.