Kennewick man waives extradition in West Virginia death

By The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette and Herald staffMarch 6, 2013 

An Energy Northwest scientist arrested Saturday in connection with a drug death in West Virginia agreed to be sent back to face drug and murder charges.

Chad M. Renzelman, 32, of Kennewick, waived his right to an extradition hearing in Benton County Superior Court and is being held without bail until he is transported to Roane County, W. Va.

His college friend, Todd Anthony Honaker, 34, of Left Hand, W. Va., is charged with first-degree murder after his wife died from two hits of LSD he allegedly gave to her as an anniversary gift.

Renzelman is accused of making eight LSD strips and mailing them to Todd Honaker 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 as a gift for Renee, his wife.

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 Honakers' home at 7 p.m. in response to a woman who apparently had 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 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 health 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 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.

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 home at 3901 W. 43rd Ave. Saturday and allegedly found materials used to manufacture LSD.

The Kennewick Police Department had no new information Tuesday on Renzelman's arrest and Saturday's search of the Southridge area home where he lived.

Mike Paoli, an Energy Northwest spokesman, said Renzelman has been with the Richland-based company since November. He said Renzelman worked in Energy Northwest's environmental sciences department in central Richland and had no role in the company's nuclear power plant operations.

Renzelman still is employed by the company but is on administrative leave. He is being paid through the use of his accrued personal time, Paoli said.

Roane County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Downey said Renzelman waived his right to an extradition hearing Tuesday. 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.

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