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‘Fugitive Granny’ Who Admitted To Murder Of Look-Alike Pleads Not Guilty To Husband’s Killing
Lois Riess admitted to a bizarre murder plot where she killed Pamela Hutchinson in an attempt to steal her identity.
The "fugitive granny" who admitted she fled her home of Minnesota and murdered a Florida doppelgänger in a bizarre identity theft plot is back home to face the allegation she killed her husband.
Lois Riess, 58, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Pamela Hutchinson, 59, last year — admitting she killed the woman because she shared her likeness.
Last Friday, Riess was transferred to Minneapolis' Steele County Detention Center after being extradited to face a charge of first-degree murder in her husband David Riess' killing in March 2018, according to CBS Minnesota. This came after the Dodge County Sheriff pledged in December 2019 to begin the extradition process for Riess following her guilty plea in Florida, according to Fox 9.
Riess appeared in court on Tuesday, where she pleaded not guilty to charges that she killed her husband, according to local outlet the Star Tribune. Riess agreed to be held in jail without bail until a pretrial hearing can be set.
After allegedly murdering her husband, Riess became a fugitive. She fled to Florida, where she met and killed Hutchinson in April 2018 before fleeing to Texas. Before she was apprehended at the beach resort community of South Padre Island by the U.S. Marshal Service later that month, authorities suspected she had set her sights on another potential victim: Bernadette Mathis.
"I had no idea. I thought she was a new best friend. I didn't think she was going to do anything to me," Mathis previously told WINK-TV. "We sat in my hot tub, she stayed in my guest bedroom, and the next morning I took her to breakfast."
Officials have alleged Riess had a pattern of befriending women before going on to victimize them — fatally, in Hutchinson's case.
“She was in Texas befriending another unknown female in what appeared to be the same pattern in which would have determined that she would have killed again,” Florida sheriff Carmine Marceno previously stated.
Riess is also accused of stealing $11,000 from her husband after he died. Although authorities have stated Riess has a gambling addiction, it is not clear if that was the impetus for the alleged murder of her husband.
While leading police on a manhunt across the country, the woman took time to stop at multiple casinos in states like Louisiana, according to the Star Tribune. She also stopped at a casino in Iowa before moving on to Florida, where she met Hutchinson.
Members of Riess' family declined to comment when contacted by CBS Minnesota.