Grandmother Admits Murdering Husband, then Killing Lookalike Woman to Steal Her Identity
Before being sentenced Tuesday, Lois Reiss apologized to her husband's family and friends
A Minnesota woman who shot her husband to death in 2018 and then killed another woman received her second life sentence this week.
Lois Riess, 58, stood in a Kasson, Minnesota, courtroom on Tuesday, and admitted killing her husband, David, before going on the run — eventually winding up in Florida, where she befriended and then murdered a woman who looked like her, all so she could steal the victim's identity.
Late last year, Riess received life imprisonment for killing Pamela Hutchinson, 59, who was discovered dead inside a hotel in Fort Myers Beach on April 6, 2018.
She was extradited back to Minnesota on Friday to face prosecution on a first-degree murder charge, to which she pleaded guilty.
The Star Tribune was present for Tuesday's proceedings, and reports Riess received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Before she was sentenced, Reiss apologized to her husband's family and friends. The paper reports she admitted she shouldn't have killed him, and told them life without her husband was her true sentence.
On March 23, 2018, investigators found the body of her 54-year-old husband, David Riess, inside their Blooming Prairie home. He'd been shot multiple times.
Riess fled to Florida, making stops at casinos along the way, police said.
While in Florida, Riess struck up a friendship with Hutchinson, specifically because the victim looked like her.
Riess fatally shot Hutchison before stealing her identity. Police revealed they found the victim’s purse in her disheveled hotel room, with her car keys missing.
Police are not sure when Hutchinson was killed, but said Riess used the same gun to commit both murders.
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Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose issued the following statement after the sentencing.
"Today's guilty plea and life sentence is a turning point for our community, which can now begin to heal from David Riess' death," it reads. "For David and Lois' family in particular, today's life sentence closes a tragic chapter, and we will continue to offer the family our support through their healing process. We are grateful to our criminal justice partners from across the nation who brought a series of terrible crimes to an end, and brought a killer to justice."