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 last month shot and killed 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson 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.
Braden Riess told Inside Edition that he and his siblings were devastated to learn of the allegations that she 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.
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."