Wabasha County man pleads guilty to murdering father

(ABC 6 News) – A Wabasha County man charged with the murder of his father in Zumbro Falls has pleaded guilty Friday.

James Edward Riley, 46, of Millville entered a plea of guilty to murder in the second degree in relation to the murder of his father, Edward Riley, on March 5, 2021.

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The County Attorney’s Office supplemented the guilty plea with exhibits including an audio recording of the defendant’s statement wherein he admitted he killed his father by hitting him on the back of the head with a hammer and then, while his father was on the ground, stabbing him multiple times. Edward Riley’s body was located in the trunk of a car at the residence. Other exhibits include the autopsy report, a psychological evaluation of the defendant, and an audio recording of the 911 call.

County Attorney Karrie Kelly stated, “This resolution was reached after consultation with the family and law enforcement. Family members expressed to us the desire to move forward to allow the defendant’s young children, three of whom were present at the time of the murder, to find closure.” Attorney Kelly added, “This resolution could not have been reached without the thorough investigation conducted by the Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office. The diligence of the investigators in finding physical evidence at the scene, tracking down witnesses and documents, and coordinating with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension cannot be overstated.”

The plea agreement calls for the defendant to serve 432 months in prison.

Sentencing for Riley is scheduled for July 19.

 ABC 6 News Now