Zumbro Falls man to serve more than 3 decades in prison for murdering his father

A Zumbro Falls man has learned his fate after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree murder.

Tuesday, court records show 46-year-old James Riley was sentenced to serve 36 years (432 months) at the St. Cloud prison. As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Riley pleaded guilty in May to killing his father, 73-year-old Edward Riley.

RELATED: Man arrested in murder of his father in Zumbro Falls

RELATED: Zumbro Falls man charged with murder of his father

As part of the plea agreement, he was expected to be sentenced to 36 years behind bars.

According to the records, Riley will get credit for the 502 days he has already served.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were called to a home on the 59000 block of County Road 6 at around 6:20 p.m. on March 5, 2021. A woman said she’d gone to the grocery store, leaving her husband, Edward, and her son, James Edward Riley, together. When she got home, she saw her husband’s truck parked in an unusual place and opened the trunk, where she found her husband’s body with a pail of dirt and a hoe.

Initially, Riley denied hurting his father, saying he had a feeling he was being set up and noting two people had come to the home earlier to buy a piece of equipment. However, he later admitted to hitting his father on the head with a hammer multiple times, then stabbing him because his father was making noises he didn’t like, the complaint states.

The complaint adds that Riley told authorities that his father was mean and getting meaner, saying his father screamed at his mother and wouldn’t let her travel.

However, according to the complaint, Riley’s mother told investigators that Riley was difficult to get along with and felt like he should’ve been given everything by his parents.