“Young, stupid and selfish” is how a relative described 19-year-old Brendan Johnson and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Cassandra Rieb.
The young couple were arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of Johnson’s 70-year-old grandparents, Charles and Shirley Severance. When they spoke to police, they admitted to killing the elderly couple, with Rieb even reportedly stressing that they had done it together. Why? It was all for Johnson’s inheritance, $20,000 and a small house in Sterling, Colorado worth a little under $50,000. Corrupting the scenario even more? Johnson was still living in the house with his grandparents.
The couple had allegedly planned since May to smother the Severances, but when they finally crept into the bedroom to do it, Charles was still awake. Johnson reportedly admitted to choking his grandfather instead. Johnson suspected that his grandfather had a heart attack and died during the struggle. Then they went after Shirley, allegedly stabbing and strangling her before burning her body. The couple scattered Shirley’s ashes through two states. They reportedly told police that they had intended to burn Charles’ body as well, but the elderly man had been too heavy to carry.
Johnson and Rieb are in prison, currently being held without bond. Charges against them may at the very least include first-degree murder, forgery, and aggravated robbery. The forgery charges stem from two checks that Johnson may have written to himself on his grandparents’ checkbook.
9 News Denver brings us this report:
Disturbing details in double-homicide in Sterling (KBTV 9 News Denver)
Colorado teen couple killed grandparents for inheritance money: police (NY Daily News)
Relative calls Colorado teens accused of killing grandparents for money ‘stupid and selfish’ (US News And World Report)