A Jefferson City man has been granted a change of venue in connection with charges he's facing in a 2017 murder case in Montgomery County.
This week in Montgomery County Court, Judge Jason Lamb said the case of Michael Humphrey, 36, would be heard in Audrain County. A jury from another county would hear the case if it goes to trial. The next hearing for Humphrey is scheduled for May.
The Missouri Highway Patrol arrested Humphrey along with Lynlee Renick, 31, of New Florence, in January.
Both are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the killing of Benjamin Renick, 29, of New Florence. Lynlee Renick is scheduled to be in court next week in Montgomery County.
In the evening hours of June 8, 2017, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office received a report of a deceased person at Renick's Reptiles in New Florence. Deputies found the body of Benjamin Renick and determined he had died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Renick was found near several hundred caged snakes inside his business. He specialized in breeding designer pythons at the business he ran out of a building near his home.
Highway Patrol probable cause statements allege Lynlee Renick shot and killed her husband inside his reptile farm. He was shot several times, including once in the head.
During the investigation into the murder last January, a person with whom authorities said Lynlee Renick was having an affair came forward with new information about the shooting. This person said Lynlee was afraid her husband would take their children and had found out Benjamin planned to end the marriage.
Facebook records obtained by authorities indicate Benjamin was upset Lynlee's spa business in Columbia was causing a strain on the couple's finances.
The witness told authorities Lynlee and a friend had come up with a plan to kill Benjamin with a protein drink laced with narcotics. Benjamin did get sick after drinking the drink, but he didn't die, according to the probable cause statement.
Authorities said Lynlee later contacted an ex-boyfriend, Humphrey, to come up with a plan to shoot and kill Benjamin. However, on the day of the shooting, Humphrey told Lynlee he "didn't feel comfortable doing it," believing Lynlee would regret killing her husband, according to court documents.
When this occurred, authorities claim, Lynlee went into the snake shop and shot and killed Benjamin.