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Rural Blooming Prairie woman convicted and sentenced in two murder cases to serve her prison time in Minnesota

Prosecutors handling the Lois Riess murder cases have agreed to have her serve the first of her life sentences in a Minnesota prison, making it highly unlikely Riess will ever serve any part of her time in Florida.

Riess was convicted of killing her husband, David, in March 2018 in the couple’s rural Blooming Prairie home, before fleeing to Fort Meyers Beach, Florida where she befriended 59-year old Pamela Hutchinson, who bore a resemblance to Riess, then killed her and stole her identity.  Riess then drove off in Hutchinson’s car and used the deceased woman’s credit card to pay for a hotel room and used her ID to make a $5,000 withdrawal from a Wells Fargo bank. Riess also withdrew another $500 from Hutchinson’s account at another bank.

Authorities were able to track Riess as she drove north out of Florida, then west, stopping at casinos in Louisiana before heading to Texas. U.S. marshals arrested Riess a month after the murders as she ate dinner in a restaurant on April 19, 2018 in South Padre Island, Texas.

Riess pleaded guilty to.a felony first-degree murder charge in her husband’s death in August in Dodge County District Court, which cleared the way for her to serve her life sentences with no opportunity for parole in the Minnesota Women’s Correctional Facility in Shakopee. Prosecutors in Florida had sought the death penalty, but withdrew that possibility and accepted a plea for a life sentence. They also agreed to let Riess serve sentences concurrently in her home state.


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