A Colorado teen has admitted killing his grandparents for money and a house. Authorities said Brendan Lee Johnson, age 19, and Cassandra Ann Reib, age 18, brutally murdered Charles and Shirley Severance, both age 70. The teens are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, and theft.
On May 29, Charles Severance’s body was discovered inside his home. When authorities arrived on scene, Johnson and Reib were also present in the home. When questioned, the teens said they were unsure how Charles died. They also admitted Shirley had been missing for more than one week.
Throughout their investigation, authorities discovered Johnson cashed two checks, totaling $4500, from his grandparents’ bank account. They also learned Johnson was driving his grandfather’s truck.
During a police interview, Johnson eventually admitted that he and Reib had been planning to kill his grandparents “since the first part of May.” As Johnson and Reib planned to smother the elderly couple while they slept, they were not expecting a struggle.
On the evening of May 20, Johnson said he attempted to place a pillow over his grandfather’s face. However, the 70-year-old man fought for his life. Johnson claims Charles suffered a heart attack during the struggle.
As reported by 9 News, Johnson said Reib attempted to smother Shirley but she broke away and attempted to flee. Although she made it out of the house, Johnson caught her and pulled her back inside. He told investigators that he stabbed her multiple times before strangling her with a string. Johnson eventually admitted that he and Reid scattered his grandmother’s remains between two remote locations.
As reported by Twin Cities, both teens admitted killing the grandparents for their money and their house. Authorities said Charles and Shirley has approximately $20,000 in their account at the time of their death. In the official affidavit, Johnson admitted that his grandmother offered him money to spare her life. Unfortunately, it was not enough.
Police said the case is one of the most devastating they have ever seen. Is is difficult to understand what prompted the teens to resort to violence. It is unknown if either teen has a history of violent behavior or crime.
Friends and family said Charles and Shirley Severance were good people, who had lived in the state of Colorado for 30 years. As the couple was well respected, the community is struggling to understand how the teens could have killed the grandparents for money.
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