Ohio Hubby Indicted for Offering Hitman $20,000 to Execute Wife He Said ‘Disrespected’ Him, Feds Say

Ohio Hubby Indicted for Offering Hitman $20,000 to Execute Wife He Said ‘Disrespected’ Him, Feds Say

Before Scott Renninger was arrested for allegedly putting a hit on his wife, prosecutors say he told a phony assassin he wanted her to “disappear” so he wouldn’t have to endure their divorce proceedings.

The Ohio man claimed he’d watched “a thousand hours” of true crime shows and knew how suspects got caught. “With no body, they can’t charge you,” Renninger is said to have told an associate, who grew concerned about the Uniontown father-of-four’s conversations about killing his estranged spouse and tipped off authorities.

The FBI had this acquaintance set Renninger up with a pretend hitman, and Renninger devised the murder-for-hire plot throughout October and November, according to a federal indictment and affidavit in support of a criminal complaint.

“We all got to have our f—–g stories straight,” Renninger told the bogus assassin, the indictment states. “There’s the little details they might seem like they’re minor, or, I’m being paranoid, but that’s the kind of s–t that separates whether you f—–g spend the rest of your life in jail or you know, you get away with it.”

“I like my freedom, you know what I mean. I don’t look good in stripes,” Renninger added. “I mean that’s the other way people normally get caught … is they go and ask other people, ‘Hey, you know anyone who can help me knock my wife off?’ You know what I mean, it’s kind of a hard thing to advertise.”

But unbeknownst to Renninger, authorities were already working undercover to bust him for concocting just this type of scheme. He even told the hitman, in recorded conversations cited in court documents, that he hoped his wife, Holly, would catch COVID and that “a little COVID issue” could replace the execution.

A grand jury indicted Renninger, 52, with one count of the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

In a statement announcing the charge, FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith commended the people who “came forward to report Mr. Renninger’s desire to, in his words, make his wife disappear.” Smith continued, “Without this vital information, Mrs. Renninger may have very well lost her life.”

The allegations in the case—filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio— include dialogue fit for the TV shows Renninger apparently enjoyed.

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Renninger’s acquaintance didn’t think he was serious at first but “grew increasingly concerned” the more he talked about the murder plot. To prevent Renninger from recruiting an actual hitman, the informant falsely claimed to know someone who could do the job for $30,000.

But Renninger was allegedly losing patience and informed the acquaintance he was going to pursue other avenues for securing his wife’s death.

In October, the source twice recorded in-person conversations with Renninger, who provided a photo of Holly and information on her vehicle and tag number. Renninger also gave the tipster “two pages from a newspaper with select numbers and letters circled that when aggregated create the street address” for his wife’s home, the affidavit says.

Under the direction of the FBI, the source called Renninger on Oct. 30 to schedule a meeting for the contract killing. The affidavit says Renninger “scolded” the acquaintance for sending a text stating a “painter”—the source’s code word for hitman—wanted to meet with him.

Renninger said they now needed to call a real painter in Canton in case law enforcement reviewed their texts. “Unless you want to go to fucking jail … stop doing that shit,” Renninger said. “One fucking mistake can unravel this.”

“I’ve spent a thousand hours of my life watching these fucking crime shows…” Renninger later told the source.

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