Lewis Bennett was charged with second-degree murder in the disappearance of his wife.
(Broward County Sheriff’s Office)
A British man murdered his wife and deliberately sank the couple’s catamaran in the vicinity of the Bahamas in an attempt to inherit, inheritance, prosecutors said last week.
Lewis Bennett, 41, was charged with second-degree murder on the high seas in May 2017 disappearance of Isabella Hellmann, 41, of Delray Beach, Florida, in February. Bennett and his wife were on a delayed honeymoon to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Judge delays trial of Lewis Bennett, charged with the murder of the woman Isabella Hellman of Delray, still missing at sea. Trial was established in April, now Aug. Fbi wants to find the time int’l documents. @CBS12 pic.twitter.com/lpGJ1QQk4g
— Chuck Weber (@ChuckWeber12) March 29, 2018
Hellmann’s family reportedly bugged her apartment in Delray Beach to listen to Bennett’s calls, because they thought he was involved in her disappearance, The Guardian reported, citing the court papers.
A Miami federal judge was asked to admit that conversations between Hellmann and her family, that they are believed to have discussed arguments about a potential move to Australia, financial problems and the education of their daughter, the newspaper reported. Prosecutor Benjamin Greenberg said the calls show the couple were constantly arguing.
“Hellmann’s murder would remove the marital quarrel of the defendant’s life, allowing the defendant to his own life as he wanted, and enable him to inherit the money of Hellmann’s estate, which is all strong circumstantial evidence that the defendant had a strong motive for the murder Hellmann,” Greenberg said.
Bennett would inherit Hellman’s apartment and bank account, they should be declared dead, according to The Guardian. Her body is still not found.
The FBI said in a statement in February that financial greed was the likely motive behind Hellman’s murder. The document also noted that Bennett did nothing to search for his wife, but he did the rescue of a tea set.
Isabella Hellman mystery spread over three continents, raises four questions https://t.co/nZfxWh5Q2p pic.twitter.com/wPtO3SlWuo
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) July 19, 2017
Bennett told investigators the night Hellman disappeared he had gone below deck on their boat near Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas, to sleep, around 8 hours, activated the autopilot and left Hellmann to keep watch. The FBI said that he mistakenly mentioned that she disappeared after the alleged accident. The researchers said they found evidence Bennett intentionally tried to sink the boat.
Bennett almost immediately fell into a life raft with their luggage and other items and took no actions to find his wife, the FBI said.
Prosecutors also said Hellman may have discovered he was in possession of rare coins stolen from a former employer in St. Martin, which have made her an accomplice of a crime. An argument about the coins “as possible, led to an intense argument which resulted in Hellman’s murder,” Greenberg said.
Bennett authorised for the transport of the coins, and was sentenced to seven months in prison.
Bennett is said that it’s going to be a trial in the murder case in December.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.