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Blooming Prairie woman pleads not guilty to Florida murder charge

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Lois Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minn.
This photo provided by the South Padre Island Police Department shows Lois Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minn., who was arrested by federal deputy marshals Thursday, April 19, 2018, at a restaurant in South Padre Island, Texas. Investigators believe she killed her husband in Minnesota then fled to Florida where she used the same gun to slay her doppelganger with the intention of assuming her identity. Riess had been on the run since at least late March.
South Padre Island Police Department via AP

A Minnesota woman accused of killing her husband and a Florida woman before leading authorities on a cross-country manhunt has entered a not guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge.

News outlets report 56-year-old Lois Riess entered the plea Thursday in Fort Myers, Florida.

Court documents say 54-year-old David Riess was found dead at the couple's Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, home on March 23. Authorities say Lois Riess came to Fort Myers and soon met 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson.

Investigators believe Riess killed Hutchinson to assume her identity. Riess was captured in South Padre Island, Texas, and returned to Florida to face charges. Charges in Minnesota are also pending.

The public defender's office in Lee County is representing Riess.