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Roane man gave wife fatal hits of LSD, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police charged a Roane County man with first-degree murder Friday when his wife died from two hits of LSD he allegedly gave to her.

A Washington state chemist also was charged with murder Saturday after police said he manufactured and mailed the LSD strips to the couple.

Chad M. Renzelman, 32, of Kennewick, Wash., is accused of making eight LSD strips and mailing them to Todd Anthony Honaker, 34, of Left Hand, sometime before Friday, according to a criminal complaint filed in Roane County Magistrate Court.

Honaker told police he bought eight hits of LSD from Renzelman to take himself and give to Renee, his wife. Renzelman is an old college friend, he said.

Renee Honaker, 30, and her husband allegedly took two hits of LSD each before Renee fell to the floor and began convulsing Friday.

Sgt. M.W. Williams of the Roane County Sheriff's Department was called to Honaker's home at 7 p.m. in response to a woman who had apparently been poisoned. Officers entered the home and found Todd Honaker performing CPR on his wife, who lay unresponsive in the middle of the living room floor.

Honaker told police his wife had only taken her regular medicine and drank a little wine that evening. He then became agitated and aggressive and told Sgt. Williams, "shoot me, just kill me," according to the complaint.

At that point, Honaker was placed under arrest for the safety of others trying to revive his wife. He confessed in custody that he and his wife had taken the powerful psychedelic, according to the complaint.

Renee Honaker was taken to CAMC General Hospital, where she died Friday. Todd Honaker was taken to Roane General Hospital for a mental hygiene evaluation and later released. He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance Friday night. He is being held in the Central Regional Jail without bail.

Honaker told police that Renzelman addressed the LSD to him in an anniversary card. He allegedly threw the LSD and the card away in the trash before police and paramedics arrived.

Williams told the Gazette Tuesday night that a family member told him the couple's anniversary is much later in the year. The card was not relevant to any anniversary Williams is aware of, he said.    

Officers went to the trash outside and found an envelope containing four LSD strips with instructions on how to take them and the price owed for them, according to the complaint.

Kennewick police searched Renzelman's house Saturday and reportedly found materials used to manufacture LSD.

Roane County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Downey said Renzelman waived his right to an extradition hearing Tuesday. Downey said that Roane authorities now have 30 days to pick Renzelman up from Washington to face the West Virginia charges.    

Renzelman is charged with first-degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance in West Virginia. He's also facing a delivery of a controlled substance charge in Washington.

Renzelman was previously sentenced to probation after he was arrested for brewing an opium-based beer as a student at the University of California in Santa Cruz, according to Washington news outlets.

Williams said Renzelman is a chemist at a nuclear power plant in Washington.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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