MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota grandmother accused of murdering two people waived her right to a pretrial Thursday.
Lois Riess had her attorney appear on her behalf in a Lee County courtroom. She is charged with murdering 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson and stealing her identity. Riess is also being investigated in Minnesota for the death of her husband, David Riess.
“Nobody ever expected anything like this,” Braden Riess, the couple’s son, told Inside Edition. “It’s devastating to our family.”
Braden Riess gave his first TV interview on Inside Edition Thursday. He said he knew his mother, who made several stops at casinos during her time on the run, had struggled with gambling addiction before her crimes.
“Gambling is a terrible thing where it can suck people in and destroy lives,” Braden said.
New court documents give a closer look at Riess’ crimes and her time on the run.
Police say Hutchinson’s body was found in her Village Marina suite bathroom in Fort Meyers Beach, Florida. She had gunshot wounds and was covered in a towel.
New details reveal that there was also a towel shoved up against the bathroom door to create a seal. Hutchinson’s purse was found in the room with missing credit cards and cash.
Hutchinson’s murder is strikingly similar to that of Lois Riess’ husband. He was found dead from a gunshot wound in the bathroom of the couple’s home in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. His body was covered with a blanket. Both victims appeared to have been shot with a handgun.
Court documents say Lois Riess left the Village Marina resort in Fort Myers, Florida, on April 6, and withdrew thousands of dollars from Hutchinson’s bank account using her ID. Later that night, she was seen on surveillance video pulling up to a Hilton Hotel four hours away in Ocala, Florida. Video also showed her checking into the hotel using Hutchinson’s credit card.
Riess’ crime spree came to an end on April 19, when she was arrested at a restaurant in South Padre, Texas.
Braden Riess told Inside Edition the family has not been able to bury his father because his murder is still under investigation.
Authorities are moving forward with charges in the death of Hutchinson in Florida. Lois Riess’ trial is scheduled to start on May 29.