Lois Riess is serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted of murder in Florida. The “killer grandma” was also convicted of murder in her home state of Minnesota. Riess, 58, who has also been known as the “fugitive grandma,” admitted to killing a woman she befriended in Florida, Pamela Hutchinson. She also admitted to killing her husband, David Riess, in Minnesota.
Riess is currently being held in a Minnesota state prison and is not likely to be returned to Florida, where she was initially convicted of murder.
Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, was arrested in South Padre Island, Texas, in 2018 after a nationwide manhunt. Riess murdered Hutchinson in April 2018 after meeting her at a bar in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, authorities said. According to police, Riess and Hutchinson looked alike, and Riess was planning to steal her identity after moving to Florida following the murder of her husband, David.
According to police, Riess had been withdrawing money from Hutchinson’s bank account after killing her, and was using it to gamble. In December 2019, she pleaded guilty to killing Hutchinson to avoid the death penalty, WINK News reported.
In August 2020, Riess pleaded guilty in Dodge County, Minnesota, in the murder of her husband, according to the local sheriff’s office. She was again sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Riess had stolen money from her husband’s business to use for gambling, according to the sheriff’s office.
Here’s what you need to know about where Lois Riess is now:
Riess Is Being Held at the Shakopee Correctional Facility in Minnesota
According to the Minnesota Department of Correction website, Riess is being held at the Shakopee Correctional Facility in Minnesota. According to the DOC website, “Since 1920, Minnesota has housed all of its female inmates at a facility in Shakopee. In 1986, inmates were transferred from the old ‘women’s reformatory’ building to a modern correctional facility.” The DOC website adds:
MCF-Shakopee offers a variety of evidence-based programming that is both gender-responsive and trauma informed. This programming includes cognitive behavioral interventions such as Moving On, Beyond Trauma, and Beyond Violence. It also includes chemical dependency and mental health treatment. Inmates have access to a variety of academic and vocational educational opportunities. MINNCOR Industries provides work opportunities for inmates. Other inmates may also be employed on facility maintenance crews, food service, or other programs throughout the facility.
Riess, who was born February 28, 1962, was originally held in a local jail in Florida before briefly being an inmate in Florida state prison starting on January 22, 2020. She was then transferred to Minnesota and was held at the Steele County Detention Center until she pleaded guilty to murder in August. She has been incarcerated in Shakopee since August 11, 2020, and is listed as serving life without parole.
The Duluth News Tribune reported that at her sentencing in Minnesota, Riess told the court, “What I did was an unpardonable crime. Solitude is forever. I feel I deserve this. I will have no reprieve.”
Riess Is Likely to Remain in Minnesota
Riess is still also listed as an inmate in the Florida Department of Corrections database, with her current facility listed as Minnesota. Riess could be returned to the Sunshine State to serve her life sentence without parole there, since she was first convicted in Florida, but according to the Duluth News Tribune, the states agreed to have her serve her time in Minnesota.
“As part of the extradition agreement to bring Riess back to Minnesota, the state agreed that Riess would serve her Minnesota sentence before she would return to Florida,” the newspaper reported. Riess’ family members were in attendance at her sentencing, and she “removed her face mask and turned to her family to mouth words to them with a hand on her heart,” as she was led out of court.
Riess also pleaded guilty to grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft of $300 to $5,000 and identity fraud in Florida, receiving two 5-year sentences and a 15-year sentence on those charges.
Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose told KIMT in August 2020 after Riess’ sentencing, “This was a challenging and unique case for us for many reasons; no prior contact with family, the second homicide in Florida, and the multiple agencies involved – and then throw COVID into the mix. While justice was served, there were no winners yesterday. This family lost their father, brother, and uncle at the hands of their mother, sister, and aunt. Their grandkids have essentially lost both their grandfather and grandmother – grandkids that spent a great deal of time with Lois and David at their home in Blooming Prairie. The community of Blooming Prairie also lost a valued business, and friends of many.”