McKenzie Fires Back At Report on Wife's Relationship With Convict: 'It's Tabloid Gossip'

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In the wake of a bizarre story about the wife of an Idaho State Senator being chastised by a federal judge for having an "inappropriate relationship" with a convicted killer, the politician now says his wife was "duped" by the convict.

Renee McKenzie, the wife of Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie was appointed as an adviser to Lance Wood, who had been convicted of a 1988 kidnapping and torture slaying of a gay Utah man. But U.S. Judge B. Lynn Winmill said McKenzie had overstepped her bounds and her "continued presence in the case has become a side show." The Associated Press 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.

But McKenzie calls the report "gossip."

"These stories attacking my wife, she's a caring, transparent and compassionate person," McKenzie told the AP. "She was duped by a convicted murderer and con man."

McKenzie told the AP that he didn't "consider [the report] journalism."

"I consider it tabloid gossip," he said.

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