Brendan Lee Johnson and Cassandra Ann Rieb are in custody and facing charges in the deaths of Johnson’s grandparents, Charles and Shirley Anne Severance. The two teens face charges including aggravated robbery, theft, forgery and first-degree murder.
According to CBS Denver, Johnson and Rieb killed the boy’s grandparents last weekend, and investigators are still sorting through the details. Shirley Anne’s remains were found near Sterling, Colorado and Lorenzo, Nebraska while Charles was found dead in the couple’s home.
Johnson, 19, and Rieb, 18, are currently being held without bond, according to Reuters; formal charges have not yet been filed. Sterling Police Chief Tyson Kerr indicated that “some of these charges may be filed as crimes against an at-risk adult,” though further explanations regarding that statement have not been revealed as of yet.
According to the Associated Press via ABC News, court records indicate that Brendan Lee Johnson and Cassandra Ann Rieb killed his grandparents in order to get their hands on his inheritance. That inheritance wasn’t even substantial, as it seems it included $20,000 and the Severance home, valued at $47,000.
Court documents indicate that Rieb has confessed to the murders and motive. They crept into the Severance home in the early morning hours and planned to smother the couple with pillows. As reported earlier by Inquisitr, the teens had been planning this for some time. However, their plans changed because Charles was awake and he fought his grandson. Johnson tried to choke him, and it seems Mr. Severance may have died of a heart attack.
Sadly Shirley, too, awoke during the attacks. She reportedly asked why Brendan and Cassandra were doing this to her, and she offered them the safe combination. They started to strangle her and when Shirley tried to open the safe, Brendan allegedly stabbed her with a kitchen knife. The two teens told police they went on to clean up the home and then drove to Nebraska.
Brendan and Cassandra told police they planned to cut up both Shirley and Charles Severance and burn the bodies, but they left Johnson’s grandfather behind because he was too heavy. They went on to burn Shirley’s body in a Sterling fire pit, but then they dug it up and took some remains to Nebraska. Brendan’s mother, Jill Johnson, Shirley Severance’s daughter, declined to comment to the Associated Press.
Brendan Lee Johnson and Cassandra Ann Rieb appeared in court on Wednesday, where they were advised of the possible charges ahead.