Lois Riess’ son goes public

Published 8:56 am Saturday, May 5, 2018

By Paul Walsh

Star Tribune via Associated Press

One of Lois Riess children tells a national television show that something happened in her brain before she allegedly killed two people, including his father in the couples southern Minnesota home.

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Braden Riess, who lives in the Rochester area, gave an interview to the syndicated “Inside Edition,” and the segment aired Thursday in the Twin Cities on KARE 11, Channel 11.

Lois Riess, a 56-year-old compulsive gambler who frequented casinos, is accused of fatally shooting her 54-year-old husband, David, on their farm property south of Blooming Prairie in March and fleeing in the family SUV.

She went to Florida, where law enforcement says she befriended 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, shot the look-alike in Fort Myers Beach in early April and then stole her identity before being captured on South Padre Island, Texas, on April 19.

“It’s unbelievable,” Braden Riess, 31, said in a portion of the interview released ahead of time by the show. “I can’t wrap my head around it. My mom was a good lady.”

Riess, dubbed the “killer grandma” by various national news outlets, remains jailed without bond in Florida on charges of second-degree murder, grand theft and identify theft. She had a pretrial detention hearing Thursday afternoon in Lee County.

Braden Riess said her gambling addiction was a monumental struggle for her.

A mental breakdown is how he explained the deeds linked to his mother.

“She had her own demons, you know, lately,” he said in the interview. “Something happened in her brain that made her snap.”

As the law enforcement dragnet widened for his mother, Braden Riess recalled that “I just felt really bad for my mom. I felt like she was alone and desperate. I just felt bad for her. And then I felt bad for thinking that way because my dad’s dead. It’s difficult.”

Lois Riess won’t return to Minnesota until her case in Florida ends. In her home state, she is charged with the theft of $11,000 from her husband’s bank account but not yet with murder.