The Minnesota woman facing the death penalty in Florida where she is accused of killing a look-alike waived her right to a speedy trial during a court appearance on Wednesday.
Lois Riess, 56, of Blooming Prairie, had been given permission to skip Wednesday’s case management conference hearing in Lee County Court in Fort Myers but was in court for the proceeding.
Judge Joseph Fuller Jr. also granted the prosecution’s motion to require Riess to submit finger, palm and foot prints and set her next court appearance for Oct. 31. A date for the obtaining the prints has not been set.
Riess continues to be held in the Lee County Jail without bond in connection with the death of Pamela Hutchinson.
A Lee County grand jury handed up an indictment of first-degree murder with a firearm on June 6, and the Florida State Attorney’s Office later filed its intent to seek the death penalty. Riess has entered a not guilty plea in writing.
Charges say Riess was in Fort Myers in early April while she was being sought in connection with the March 23 murder of her husband, David, in the couple’s Blooming Prairie home.
Lois Riess drove the couple’s Cadillac Escalade to Florida, where she befriended the 59-year-old Hutchinson at a seaside eatery, according to more than 2,600 pages of documents released last month.
The two women were last seen together at Hutchinson’s rented condo on April 4. Surveillance video caught Riess driving away in Hutchinson’s white Acura the next day. Hutchinson was found fatally shot inside unit 404 of the Marina Village at Snug Harbor condos on April 9.
Riess became the subject of a nationwide hunt. Authorities arrested her on April 19 in South Padre Island, Texas. Charges say Riess targeted Hutchinson because the two women looked alike.
Before Riess was caught, she withdrew $5,000 from Hutchinson’s bank account, used the slain woman’s credit card to pay for a hotel room and room service and drove her car to Texas.
In addition to the murder charge, Riess was indicted on a charge of grand theft and identity theft.
Riess also is facing charges in Minnesota. She has been charged in Dodge County with forging $11,000 in checks from her husband’s business account. The Dodge County Attorney’s Office is waiting for results of a ballistics test to determine if the same weapon was used in both killings before filing murder charges.