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State rests case on third day of Michael Humphrey murder trial

KMIZ ABC 17 News
KMIZ ABC 17 News
 2021-10-20
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MEXICO, Mo. (KMIZ) -

Prosecutors wrapped up their arguments in a Montgomery County murder case Wednesday afternoon.

The state rested its case at 2:35 p.m. in the first-degree murder trial against Michael Humphrey. Humphrey is accused of helping Lynlee Renick kill her husband, Ben Renick, at the Renicks property in Montgomery County in 2017.

The jury in the first-degree murder trial against Michael Humphrey on Wednesday watched an interview Humphrey did with the Missouri State Highway Patrol on the day of his 2020 arrest. Humphrey told Master Sgt. Marcus Reynolds he did not know of Lynlee Renick's plan to kill her husband when the two traveled to the Renicks' farm.

Prosecutors claim Humphrey drove Lynlee Renick to the property from her Columbia spa on June 8, 2017. The two allegedly worked with Ashley Shaw, a spa employee that testified on Tuesday that she helped Lynlee come up with the plot. Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner said Humphrey also gave Lynlee Renick the gun to use.

Humphrey's two-hour interview in 2020 with Reynolds instead puts the gun in Lynlee's hands when the two arrived on the Renicks' property near New Florence. Humphrey said he went with Lynlee, his ex-girlfriend, to help her collect her stuff as she ended her relationship with Ben. Humphrey said he was there to make sure "things didn't get out of hand." Humphrey said when they got out of the car, Lynlee Renick tried handing him a gun, which he pushed away. Humphrey said he did not see the gun after that. Investigators have not recovered a weapon they believe was used in the shooting.

Humphrey said he and Lynlee met Ben at his snake barn, where the breeder kept thousands of his pythons and anacondas that made him a renowned and soon-to-be-wealthy businessman. Humphrey said it was only 10 seconds after they walked into the barn that he heard the first gunshot. He ran out of the building back toward the car, according to his interview.

"I didn't know what was going to happen at all," Humphrey said.

Shaw testified before that she and Lynlee Renick tried recruiting Humphrey to kill Ben. The two women previously tried to kill Ben by crushing up a dozen Percocets and placing them in a protein shake. Shaw reached a deal with prosecutors to cooperate in exchange for immunity from charges.

Prosecutors pointed out in opening statements that Humphrey's story on his involvement changed as investigators spoke with him. He first told the highway patrol he had car trouble the day of Ben's death and did not meet with Lynlee.

The trial is set to last until Friday. Lynlee Renick's trial is set to start in December in Boone County.

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