‘She can’t hurt nobody else’: Accused killer Lois Riess remains in custody

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Murder suspect Lois Riess. WINK News

A woman accused of killing a woman on Fort Myers Beach and her husband in Minnesota may have her life spared.

Lois Riess was charged with second-degree murder. While Florida has the death penalty, prosecutors can only seek it for a person with a first-degree murder charge.

Riess faced a judge Monday in Texas and agreed to be extradited back to Florida and Minnesota for the crimes she’s accused of committing. She’s also charged with other crimes while on the run such as grand theft and stealing the identity of the woman she’s accused of killing.

Riess was arrested Thursday at the Sea Ranch Restaurant on South Padre Island.

George Higgenbottom, of Dirty Al’s Restaurant, said he recognized Riess as soon as she walked into the restaurant. He said she looked at the menu for about one or two minutes before leaving. However, Higgenbottom said he felt confident she was the woman in the wanted posters posted in several states.

Higgenbottom added he didn’t give a tip to U.S. Marshals for the reward money, but to know the manhunt for Riess has ended and Hutchinson’s family can move forward.

“She can’t hurt nobody else, she can’t find another look alike, that’ what it’s about,” Higgenbottom said.

U.S. Marshals were offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to Riess’ arrest, and said they’re convinced Higgenbottom will get the money.

Riess will face a Florida jury first as Minnesota has yet to file charges against Riess in connection with her husband’s murder. Riess currently faces a larceny charge in Minnesota.

“Who’s gonna take their first swing at her, and there’s a number of factors to take in to consideration, the severity of the punishment she’s facing, the strength of the case, the three cases, and that’s a strategical issue for those prosecutors office to consider,” said Assistant District Attorney Edward Sandoval.

Riess is expected to return to Southwest Florida within the next nine days, according to Lee County deputies.

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