Wednesday, April 10, 2013

AP: Idaho Lawmaker's Wife Chastised By Judge For 'Inappropriate' Relationship With Convicted Killer

Posted By on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM

The Idaho Department of Correction had no comment on an Associated Press report revealing the wife of Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie of having an inappropriate relationship with a state prison inmate.

In fact, a federal judge has ruled that Renee McKenzie's "continued presence in this case [of inmate Lance Wood] has become a side show." Wood was convicted of a 1988 kidnapping and torture slaying of a gay Utah man.

The AP reports that in a March 9 phone conversation monitored by prison staff, McKenzie told Wood, 'I love you," and indicated that she wanted to spend her life with him, according to IDOC documents.

Additionally, the AP reports that investigators clocked 91 hours of phone conversations over three months between McKenzie and Wood.

Wood argued that IDOC had improperly recorded the inmates phone calls and reviewed the mail of Wood.

Renee McKenzie was appointed as an adviser to the inmate, but U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said that she had overstepped her bounds when she identified herself to prison officials as "Renee McKenzie of McKenzie Law Office," but her husband's law office had nothing to do with the case.

When the AP contacted Sen. Curt McKenzie about the matter, he defended his wife saying, "Renee felt a desire to help those who are incarcerated."

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