Riess indicted with first-degree murder
A Lee County Grand Jury has indicted a Minnesota woman accused of shooting a woman to death on Fort Myers Beach so she could steal her identity, money and car as she continued to run from an earlier homicide.
Lois Ann Riess, 56, was indicted Wednesday with first degree murder with a firearm, grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification of a deceased individual, $5,000 or more in connection with the death of Pamela Hutchinson, 59, in April.
If convicted, the charge of first degree murder with a firearm carries a mandatory life sentence in prison, a release from the 20th Judicial Circuit state State Attorney’s Office, which convened the grand jury, states.
Riess previously was charged with second degree murder. In Florida, only a grand jury may charge first degree murder.
Riess is accused of killing Hutchinson sometime between April 5 and April 9, after she first befriended Hutchinson, then shot her in her condo at Marina Village at Snug Harbour.
Officials say Riess selected Hutchinson because of their similar appearance. Riess then stole Hutchinson’s identity, cash and car, and fled to South Padre Island, where she was later apprehended and arrested.
Riess had been fleeing another homicide she allegedly committed in Minnesota in March. Her husband David Riess, 54, was found shot to death in the couple’s Dodge City home. Money from his accounts was stolen, along with his car, when she fled to Florida.
Riess will be arranged on June 11.
“Endless and tireless work led us to this indictment,” said Carmine Marceno, Lee County Undersheriff, said at a press conference held Wednesday.