The trial of a Jefferson City man charged in a 2017 Montgomery County murder case is scheduled to take place in October.
According to online court records, Montgomery County Judge Jason Lamb said the trial of Michael Humphrey, 37, was scheduled to start Oct. 14. That had been the date both sides in the case had agreed to in January. But in March, Humphrey asked the judge for an earlier trial date. However, efforts to get an earlier date scheduled were not successful so the judge maintained the October date for the start of the trial.
Humphrey and Lynlee Renick, 33, of New Florence, are each charged with one count of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. The Missouri Highway Patrol arrested Renick and Humphrey in January 2020 for the killing of Benjamin Renick, 29, of New Florence.
Judge Lamb has ordered that Humphrey's case will be heard in Audrain County by a jury from Cape Girardeau County.
On the night 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, 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 fatally shot Benjamin.