Isabella Hellmann’s husband, Lewis Bennett, got eight years in prison for her 2017 death. Cuban wife Isabella Hellmann, of Delray Beach, died in international waters during her Caribbean honeymoon vacation. Investigators believed Lewis Bennett killed his wife but couldn’t prove it. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after officials dropped the 2nd-degree murder charges. According to court documents, Lewis Bennett wanted his new bride dead so he could inherit her estate. He planned to sink the boat to the bottom of the ocean and make up a story that his wife vanished at sea after a terrible boating accident, according to CBS News.
Timeline: Isabella Hellmann and Lewis Bennett—Husband Kills Wife On Honeymoon Vacation and Pretends She Vanished During Boating Accident
42-year-old Lewis Bennett, of Poole, Dorset, was the husband of 41-year-old Isabella Bennett. According to the Palm Beach Post, the couple met online in 2014, had a daughter named Emilie in 2016, and finally married in Atlanta in February of 2017. Isabella was a well-to-do real estate broker. Lewis Bennett, a British sailor, who holds dual residency in Australia and the UK, was the captain of the boat when his wife went missing at sea. An excellent swimmer, Lewis also had training in emergency situations. Isabella was not a good swimmer.
April of 2017: Isabella Hellmann flies to St. Maarten to meet her husband for a two-week Caribbean honeymoon vacation off the coast of Cuba. The mother of 9-month old Emilia boards Lewis Bennett’s Surf into Summer catamaran. Posting to Facebook along the way, they sail into the Florida Straits, close to Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas. Isabella is lost at sea in international waters.
May 15, 2017: At 1:30 a.m., watchstanders receive an alert. In a life raft, Lewis Bennett is found floating and is rescued. He tells officials his wife, Isabella Hellmann, who was above deck, tumbled into the ocean after the boat struck an object and became flooded with water. He claimed he was sleeping below deck. The coast guard launches a massive search by sea and by air for 41-year-old Isabella Hellmann.
May 20, 2017: After four days, the coast guard calls off the search for Isabella Hellmann, and her family is told the devastating news. Lewis Bennett says he’s launching his own search to find his missing wife. Holes in Lewis Bennett’s story, make investigators suspicious, prompting them to investigate further.
May 27, 2017: The FBI is brought in to help with the investigation. Isabella’s sister tells police she thinks Lewis Bennett killed her.
July 15, 2017: Lewis Bennett wants a letter in writing declaring his wife “presumed dead.” A fierce custody battle ensues between Lewis Bennett and the family of Isabella Hellmann over their daughter.
August 29, 2017: U.S. Marshals place Lewis Bennett under arrest for stealing gold and silver coins worth $44,000 to $100,000.
October 19, 2017: Bennett wants a judge to issue a death certificate for Isabella. The judge refuses, pending further investigation. Lewis Bennett wants the certificate so he can take possession of his wife’s bank accounts, her Delray Beach condo, and her pricy Mercedes-Benz.
December 2, 2017: Lewis Bennett pleads guilty in the coin theft case.
February 20: Police arrest Lewis Bennett and charge him with second-degree murder. While in jail, Bennett seems distraught and writes a letter to his penpal, stating he thinks about Isabella at “every waking moment,” according to Tribune Content Agency News Service.
November 5: At trial, prosecutors say Lewis Bennett deliberately damaged the boat from the inside to make it look as if he hit an object in the water. The judge was appalled Lewis either killed his wife or let his wife drown to inherit her money. Lewis Bennett pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
A judge finally declares Isabella Hellmann dead. Her entire estate will go to her daughter, Emilia.
May 29: Lewis Bennett is sentenced to eight years in prison for the death of his newlywed wife. He apologized to his wife’s family for letting her drown.
The question now is—when he is released from prison, will Lewis Bennett try to cozy up to his daughter to have access to the money?
The video is heartwrenching. It shows family members of a Delray mother lost at sea, confronting the man accused of killing her before he drives away with the couple's child.Read more: http://bit.ly/2NSvZ6k
Posted by CBS 12 News on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
[Main image via Facebook]