Upon arrival, deputies identified Benjamin “Ben” Renick and pronounced him dead at the scene. According to the Sheriff’s Office, an examination of his body confirmed that he died from a gunshot wound.
According to The Associated Press, Ben Renick’s wife, 31-year-old Lynlee Renick, originally told police that her husband was fatally crushed by one of his snakes. Initially, investigators reportedly determined that an intruder killed Ben Renick after locating shell casings.
Upon further investigation, Lynlee Renick and her 35-year-old ex-boyfriend Michael Humphrey were arrested on Jan. 16, 2020, in connection to the crime, the Sheriff’s Office said. Renick and Humphrey were booked into the Montgomery County Jail without bond on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
According to KMIZ-TV, Humphrey allegedly went to Ben Renick’s reptile breeding business with Lynlee Renick the day Ben Renick was shot.
On Monday, KMIZ reports that Ashley Shaw and Humphrey testified against Renick, with Humphrey claiming that it was Renick who pulled the trigger and he didn’t witness the shooting.
Shaw reportedly testified that Renick said her husband abused her before shooting him and that Shaw tried to help Renick poison him with painkillers before the incident.
KMIZ reports that prosecutors believe Shaw devised a plan to kill Ben Renick for his $1 million life insurance policy. Shaw reportedly worked at Lynlee Renick’s spa, which was struggling financially. Shaw and Renick allegedly recruited Humphrey, who has a criminal past involving drug abuse and violence. Initially, according to KMIZ, Humphrey said he was not involved with the plan before telling investigators that Renick pulled the trigger.
Shaw was not charged in the murder after reaching a deal with prosecutors, KMIZ said.
Humphrey was found guilty of first-degree murder in October. His sentencing is scheduled for January 2022.