Lois Riess Lee County mug shot
Extradition complete, alleged killer-granny Lois Riess has arrived in Lee County, and at first appearance today, the judge determined she will be held without bail. Riess is currently facing second degree murder charges in the death of Pamela Hutchinson, who’s body was found a couple weeks ago on Fort Myers Beach. Riess allegedly killed her, stole her identity, her vehicle and cash, and used them to flee to Texas, where she was caught last week. Riess is also suspected in the death of her husband in Minnesota, though charges are still pending there. LCSO even had her delivered to the main office so they could give her a perp walk: a rare ‘honor’ not seen since they picked up Mark Sievers.
While the current charges are for second degree murder, the State could take the case to a grand jury to indict for first degree murder, as the murder appears to be premeditated. If the charges are upped to first degree, the state could decide to seek the death penalty, in light of the aggravating factors that Mrs. Riess may have committed the offense for pecuniary gain and to aid her flight from the earlier murder she may have committed. There may be mitigating factors, such as mental health issues: Texas has indicated that she suffers dementia. Insanity could be a defense, if the mental health disorders were so severe she could not tell right from wrong, though the fact that she may have plotted a murder to abscond on a previous murder would vitiate her insanity claim. The case will be interesting from a legal standpoint.
Lois Riess, ‘Losing Streak Lois’
Lois Riess, who is accused of killing a woman who looked like her in Fort Myers as she fled from charges of murdering her husband in Minnesota, was arrested a few days ago in Texas. Minnesota authorities have indicated that they will wait for Florida to prosecute her while they are still building their murder case against her. There is a warrant for murder charges out of Lee County, while Minnesota initially only filed theft related charges, but it is expected that murder charges will be filed when the investigation is complete. It remains to be seen if Lee County will seek to indict on first degree murder charges, or leave it at second degree. She will face life in prison either way, but the State could seek the death penalty if they up it to first degree murder.
Lois Riess, who was arrested in Texas and facing murder charges in Fort Myers and her native Minnesota, had an extradition hearing today. She waived her right to fight extradition to either state: so whoever comes to get her first can bring her back. It is expected that Florida will collect her first: Lee County filed murder charges while the murder case from Minnesota was still under review, and she could potentially be facing first degree murder charges for the tourist she allegedly shot to steal hear identity on Fort Myers Beach.
Apparently, some authorities are calling her “Losing Streak Lois”, due to her gambling losses at casinos… but she might have been apprehended to quickly for that to stick. This silver fox was not sly enough to avoid capture. The Star Tribune has good details of the alert restaurant employees that spotted her and helped authorities capture her in Texas. Likely, the prosecutors in Lee County and in Minnesota will talk and decide who will prosecute her first, and it would not surprise me if she ends up headed to SW Florida.
Posted in 10-20-Life, Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL, Gray Menace, Texas
Tagged extradition, fort myers beach, lois riess, losing streak lois, minnesota, murder, swfl, texas
Curtis Wayne Wright’s Lee County Mug Shot
Curtis Wayne Wright was booked into the Lee County Jail last night, and is being held without bond. He was recently extradited from Missouri to face charges in the murder of Dr. Theresa Sievers, who was found killed in her Bonita Springs home, June 29. The other suspect who has been charged, Jimmy Rodgers, is serving a Federal violation of probation sentence, and will be brought down to Florida after he completes that sentence.
Wright’s arraignment is set November 16, though all that will happen then is he will enter a not guilty plea. In the meantime, the state could call a grand jury to consider an indictment for First Degree Murder, if the evidence supports it: which could lead to a possible death sentence. Sometime after the arraignment, the discovery will be released, which will finally make more of the details public record.
Wesnel Isaac managed to evade capture for around 7 years, rising to not only Lee County’s most wanted list, but for the 15 most wanted for the U.S. Marshall’s service. He was eventually arrested in Haiti in 2014, and extradited back to Florida to face charges for an execution-style triple murder in Lehigh Acres allegedly related to his drug business. His trial began jury selection this morning.
One of his co-defendants also made it out of the country. Loubert Jules was captured trying to sneak back IN to the United States, crossing the Mexican border in the trunk of a car. He was sentenced to life in prison after trial. Two other co-defendants were given 8-year sentences for agreeing to cooperate and testify.
Curtis Wayne Wright & Jimmy “The Hammer” Rodgers
Wink News is reporting that the Sheriff’s office has confirmed that not only was Jimmy Rodgers in Florida at the time of the murder (though, not at his brother’s graduation, as he apparently told his employer,) but Curtis Wayne Wright was in Florida with him. Apparently they were both confirmed to have gone to a local Wal-Mart, and may have purchased something related to the crime, though the Sheriff is still mum on what that may have been.
That puts both suspects in Florida, though Curtis Wright’s attorney in Missouri has denied that his client had anything to do with the crime, saying the evidence will show Wright did not participate in the crime. He hasn’t been convicted yet, but the circumstantial evidence is damning: he’s the connection between Sievers and Jimmy “The Hammer” Rodgers, and now we know he traveled to Florida with Rodgers at the time of the murder. That doesn’t prove his guilt, but there is a lot of smoke not to have a fire.
Full Coverage of the Sievers murder case.
Italian courts wanted more time to review the Knox appeal, and have continued the hearing until Friday, when a decision is expected. CNN is citing international law expert M. Cherif Bassiouni who believes that even if the verdict is upheld, she won’t be subject to extradition by the United States.