A high-profile mid-Missouri murder case with ties to Columbia, Jefferson City and New Florence will be profiled Friday night in an all-new “Dateline NBC” episode.
The case involves Columbia’s Lynlee Renick, who owned Ascensia spa in Cherry Hill. She’s now serving a 16-year prison sentence for second degree murder and armed criminal action. She was convicted of the 2017 killing of her husband Ben, a prominent Montgomery County snake breeder.
Lynlee Renick sits down for an exclusive interview with Dateline correspondent Andrea Canning, from prison. Ben’s brother Sam and Montgomery County EMTs are also interviewed for the episode, which airs tonight at 8 nationwide on NBC.
Lynlee Renick has maintained her innocence. 939 the Eagle was at the Boone County Courthouse for all four days of the emotional trial. “Court TV” broadcast the trial live. The jury was imported from Clay County, due to extensive media coverage in central Missouri. Clay County is near Kansas City.
The 2017 murder happened inside a snake facility near New Florence, which is in Montgomery County. Lynlee testified that Michael Humphrey of Jefferson City shot and killed her husband Ben. The graphic crime scene photos were shown during the December trial. The crime scene was so bloody that Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies first thought a 500-pound anaconda had attacked and killed Ben Renick. He had been shot numerous times, including several times in the head.
Humphrey was a key prosecution witness at Lynlee Renick’s December trial at the Boone County Courthouse, and testified that Lynlee killed her husband.
Lynlee Renick sobbed in court when the December verdict was read, and continued to sob as she was led away by bailiffs.
Missouri Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner told jurors that Lynlee killed her husband for money, sex and freedom. But defense attorney Katherine Berger told the jury a very different story, saying Humphrey killed Ben Renick. Berger and fellow defense attorney Tim Hesemann hammered at the prosecution’s suggestion that money was a motive for Lynlee. She testified in December that they had rare green Anacondas that would have been sold for $250,000, had her husband not been murdered.
Renick also testified that she intended to request a divorce from her husband in June 2017, and brought Michael Humphrey along. Lynlee testified that she had no idea that Michael Humphrey had a gun.
Click here to watch Dateline’s preview of tonight’s episode.