(KMSP) - Even before she allegedly killed her husband and led authorities on a 10-day, nationwide manhunt that ended with her arrest at a seafood restaurant in Texas, Lois Riess' affinity for gambling led her to steal tens of thousands of dollars from her older sister—a vulnerable adult Riess was charged with caring for and protecting.
Three years after being named Kimberly Sanchez' legal guardian and moving her to an assisted living facility, court documents show the woman inherited $200,000. Soon after, Riess transferred funds from the guardianship account to her personal account only to withdraw much of it at a local casino.
The move prompted an investigation from the Steele County Sheriff for financial exploitation.
Later on, an audit revealed Riess' mishandling of her sister's money: payments to Sanchez' dead father, withdrawing $15,000 for gifts to nieces and nephews and an $8,500 withdrawal in "guardian fees" for herself.
A social worker filed an emergency petition in September 2015 and Riess' guardianship has since been revoked. She was also ordered by the Steele County Attorney's Office to repay $100,534 to her ailing sister in lieu of criminal charges.
Just a few years later, Riess is looking at criminal charges in two states, including murder, criminal use of identification, larceny and grand theft auto in Florida for the alleged murder and robbery of Pamela Hutchinson.
If convicted there, she faces life in prison--or the death penalty, if charges are upgraded.
In addition, the Dodge County, Minn., Sheriff's Office intends to file second-degree murder charges against Riess for the alleged murder of her husband, 54-year-old David Riess, pending forensic results from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.