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Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.
Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

A 44-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with the murder of his father, whose body was wrapped in a tarp in the trunk of a car on March 5. 

According to the charging documents filed in Wabasha County District Court, 44-year-old James E. Riley, of Zumbro Falls, admitted to hitting his father twice with a hammer and then stabbed him. 

The Wabasha County Sheriff's Office reported that Edward Riley, 73, was found dead at 59376 County Road 6 in rural Zumbro Falls after a 911 call was placed at 6:18 p.m. Friday.

The criminal complaint states James Riley initially denied involvement in his father's day, only to ultimately break down crying during a police interview in which he said his father was “mean” to everyone and was getting “meaner." The charging document notes Riley was upset his father would let his mother travel and didn't buy her Christmas gifts. 

Riley then admitted to grabbing a hammer and hitting his father "a couple of times," the complaint says, with Riley telling authorities his father began making noises that he "didn't like" so he stabbed him. 

After stabbing him, James Riley confirmed to investigators he used a tractor to "scoop up the body" and put it in the trunk of his father's car. Police found blood in the bucket of the tractor. 

A bloody knife was also found in the kitchen sink of the residence. 

Riley has been charged with second-degree murder and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. 

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