Blooming Prairie’s Riess Won’t Appear for Court Date; Here’s Why
A Blooming Prairie woman facing the death penalty for a Florida slaying has a court date on Wednesday, but won't be present for the appearance. Fifty-six-year-old Lois Riess is charged with killing Pamela Hutchinson of Fort Myers in early April. Authorities claim Riess killed Hutchinson to steal her identity. Officials say the two women looked alike and that Riess was seeking a way to evade capture while fleeing across the country.
Riess could yet face charges in Minnesota in the shooting death of her husband David in late March. She is charged in connection with allegedly forging checks from his business. The Star Tribune reports that tests are still pending on whether the same weapon with used in both killings.
Wednesday's court appearance is a case management conference where lawyers for each side present the judge with information. The judge approved a defense motion that Riess not appear according to the news media story.
Riess is being held without bond in Lee County in Florida. She was captured April 19 in southern Texas with Hutchinson's car and after withdrawing money from the woman's bank account. In addition to murder charges, Riess was indicted for vehicle theft and criminal use of personal identification.