A tragic and horrifying story continues to get stranger in Lodi, Michigan. Kent Hyne is currently on trial for the murder of Kyle Luark, 27, who was killed in February 2020. Hyne owned a cannabis cultivation business in Lodi and claims that he shot and killed Luark in self-defense last year when the latter broke into his grow operation and tried to steal product.
However, after investigators conducted several investigative subpoenas, recovered surveillance video, and worked with a forensic anthropologist they discovered that Hyne hunted down and killed Luark after being alerted that someone had broken into his grow operation. Police were first tipped off about the murder when Luark’s mother went searching for her missing child at his last known location. She called 911 after being shot at near Hyne’s home.
On Monday, July 25, Adam House, an employee of Hyne’s, testified at a continuation of the preliminary examination for the trial. Hyne is being charged with one count each of open murder, possession of an illegal firearm, felony firearms, concealing the death of an individual, and disinterment and mutilation of a dead body. House claimed in testimony that Hyne “frequently” spoke of placing attempted robbers in a woodchipper, burning them, and then depositing them in a landfill. House maintains that Hyne would openly boast about how he intended to “shoot them himself,” in reference to anyone he caught stealing.
One day after the attempted robbery, Hyne allegedly showed the Luark break-in footage to House. However, he did not show him the shooting. House claimed that Hyne described the murder instead, admitting that he shot Luark “five more times” after the initial shot. “He didn’t tell me anything else he did with the body,” House explained. Hyne’s attorney, David Goldstein, mentioned that House originally told investigators he didn’t know anything about the Luark murder, however, House countered that he was in “fear” when he lied to police at first.
After killing Luark, Hyne tried to burn the body to conceal the murder, asserted Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Michael Doby.
Michael Battle, the longtime friend of Luark, admitted at the initial preliminary examination that the two of them were attempting to steal 10lbs. of medical marijuana kept in cannabis packaging from the grow. Hyne is currently free on an $850,000 bond. The preliminary examination will continue at a later date that has yet to be scheduled.