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Wabasha, MN (KROC-AM News) - A rural Zumbro Falls man today entered into a plea agreement and admitted to a second-degree murder charge for the death.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the Wabasha County Attorney dropped the first-degree murder charge that was brought against 46-year-old James Riley by the Grand Jury that investigated the case last August. Riley is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19 and the plea deal calls for a 36-year prison term.

(Photo by Spencer Weiner-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Weiner-Pool/Getty Images)

According to the criminal complaint, Riley admitted to investigators that he struck his father on the head with a hammer multiple times and stabbed him with a knife at the family's farm southeast of Zumbro Falls on March 5 of last year. After the deadly attack, Riley told investigators used a tractor to lift and carry the body of 73-year-old Edward Riley and place it in the trunk of a car before he covered the remains with the tarp.

The court document says Riley's mother later located her husband's body after she noticed his car was parked in a strange location and decided to check the trunk. She told investigators the two men had a strained relationship and her son had expressed a desire to kill his father.

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