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Son: Mom accused in Florida, Minnesota deaths 'a good lady' but 'had her own demons'

"And something happened in her brain, like, made her snap."

Posted: May 3, 2018 9:59 AM
Updated: May 3, 2018 4:54 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The son of a Minnesota woman suspected of fatally shooting her husband then killing a Florida woman and stealing her identity says she is a "good lady" but "had her own demons" including a gambling addiction, according to an interview to be aired Thursday.

Braden Riess, 30, discussed his mother, Lois Riess, 56, in an interview with the syndicated news program "Inside Edition."

Authorities say Lois Riess killed her husband, David Riess, 54, at their Blooming Prairie home in March. She then headed to Fort Myers Beach in Florida where authorities say she shot and killed 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson last month so she could assume her identity. Authorities arrested Riess at a restaurant bar in the Texas resort town of South Padre Island late last month at the end of a long manhunt. She'll stand trial in Florida first.

On Thursday, a Lee County, Florida judge ruled that Riess should remain in jail without bond. She waived her right to appear at the hearing.

Braden Riess told "Inside Edition" that he and his siblings were devastated to learn of the allegations that his mother killed their father and Hutchinson.

"It's unbelievable, like, I don't know. I can't wrap my head around it. My mom was a good lady," he said.

He said he never thought his mother would do anything to harm his father. He described the couple as close and loving, and said she always put her kids first.

"It's a bad movie," he said. "I feel like I'm going to wake up and it's going to be, you know, back to normal. But it's not."

Lois Riess has a history of stealing money and gambling. Authorities dubbed her "Losing Streak Lois" for her habit of frequenting casinos.

Braden Riess said she must have suffered a mental breakdown.

"She had her own demons, you know, lately, I guess, the last few years, you know, to gambling addiction, was dealing with that," he said. "And something happened in her brain, like, made her snap."

More on Lois Riess

Video of Lois Riess arrest

Authorities react to arrest of Lois Riess

Riess captured after nationwide manhunt ends

Authorities: Details on murders, hours before and after

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