Lewis Bennett, 41, was charged with second-degree murder on the high seas in the 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.
Hellmann’s family allegedly bugged her apartment in Delray Beach to listen to Bennett’s conversations because they believed he was involved in her disappearance, The Guardianreported, citing court papers.
A Miami federal judge was asked to admit conversations between Hellmann and her family, which they are believed to have discussed arguments over a potential move to Australia, financial struggles and the raising of their daughter, the newspaper reported. Prosecutor Benjamin Greenberg said the conversations show the couple were constantly arguing.
The FBI said in an affidavit 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 rescue a tea set.
Bennett told investigators the night Hellman disappeared he had gone below deck on their boat near Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas, to sleep around 8 p.m., activated autopilot and left Hellmann to keep watch. The FBI said he falsely stated she disappeared after the supposed accident. Investigators said they found evidence Bennett intentionally tried to sink the boat.