Colorado Teens Accused Of Murdering Grandparents To Get Inheritance

Hayley Hoefer Contributor
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Brendan Lee Johnson, 19, and his girlfriend, Cassandra Ann Rieb, 18, were arrested Tuesday for allegedly killing Johnson’s grandparents in order to get his inheritance, which included the grandparents’ modest $47,000 home, The Associated Press reports.

Last month, the teen couple entered the Sterling, Colo., home of Charles and Shirley Severance early in the morning and attempted to smother the two 70-year-olds to death, according to police. However, the Severances put up a fight, forcing Johnson to stab his grandmother to death. Johnson said he believes his grandfather died of a heart attack soon after he failed to choke the elderly man, the AP reports.

The accusations go further: After completing the brutal murders, Johnson and Rieb proceeded to rid the Severance’s house of evidence and drove to Nebraska. Along the way, the teens scattered the remains of Shirley Severance’s body, which they had burned in a fire pit outside of the rural town of Sterling.

Johnson and Rieb apparently had wanted to burn Charles Severance’s body as well but could not do so because his body was too heavy. They eventually decided to call 911 to report finding Johnson’s grandfather dead. The medical call lead police to Charles’ body and allowed investigators to piece together the events of the Severances’ murders.

Reflecting upon the disturbing events, Norma Curl, Shirley Severance’s half-sister, told The Associated Press that Johnson and Rieb were “young, stupid and selfish.”

As of Wednesday, the couple remained held without bond.

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Hayley Hoefer