Lois Riess Indicted on First-Degree Murder Charge in Death of Florida Victim

June 06, 2018 02:29 PM

The video above aired in May.


Lois Riess has been indicted on first-degree murder charge in the death of Pamela Hutchinson in Florida.

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This supersedes the earlier charge, which was second-degree. The charge is first-degree murder with a firearm.

Reiss was not in court Wednesday, and her next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 11. 

RELATED: Lois Riess Still Held Without Bond, Public Defender Appointed

For the death penalty to be sought, the State Attorney's Office would have to convene a death penalty review committee, Samantha Syoen, communications director for the State Attorney's Office, said.

A spokeswoman for the state attorney's office said prosecutors won't discuss whether they'll seek death at this stage of the case.

Court documents say 54-year-old David Riess was found dead at the couple's Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, home in March. Authorities say Riess went to Fort Myers and met 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson. Investigators believe Riess killed Hutchinson to assume her identity. Riess was captured in Texas.

RELATED: Lois Riess Pleads Not Guilty to Florida Murder Charge

Detectives say it's unclear how Hutchinson and Riess met, but investigators found surveillance video of the two women at a local restaurant near a Gulf of Mexico beach and at the Hutchinson's condo-hotel building in early April.

Hutchinson's body wasn't found until April 9, when a hotel employee entered the unit. She was found dead in the bathroom, lying on a pillow and covered with a towel. She'd been shot twice, once in the heart and once in the side.

RELATED: Lois Riess Still Held Without Bond, Public Defender Appointed

Ten days later, Riess was arrested at a waterfront restaurant by two federal deputy marshals in South Padre Island, Texas, when an employee recognized her from surveillance video broadcast on television. She was drinking cocktails at the bar when she was taken into custody.

Riess was extradited to Florida, where she was charged with one count of second degree murder, plus one count each of grand theft, grand theft of an automobile and criminal use of personal identification. Charges in Minnesota are pending.

RELATED: Riess Held Without Bond; Faces Pretrial Detention Hearing Thursday

Riess has been assigned a public defender, and is scheduled for a court hearing in Lee County on Thursday. A woman answering the phone at the Lee County public defender's office said there is no comment on Riess' case.

The Florida grand jury also indicted Riess on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification information of a deceased individual.

RELATED: Riess Booked in a Florida County Jail

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