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Zumbro Falls, MN (KROC-AM News) - A rural Zumbro Falls man has been formally charged with second-degree murder for the death of his father last Friday.

The criminal complaint against 44-year-old James Riley says he admitted to investigators that he struck his father on the head with a hammer "a couple of times" and then stabbed him with a knife. Riley also told the investigators he used a tractor lift and to carry his father's body to a car, and placed the remains in the trunk, where the victim's wife later found 73-year-old Edward Riley covered by a tarp.

Wabasha County Sheriff's Office photo
Wabasha County Sheriff's Office photo

She told deputies she returned from the grocery store around 2 PM Friday and found her son asleep inside the family's farmhouse at their rural property southeast of Zumbro Falls. After failing to locate her husband, she told deputies she noticed his car was parked in a strange location and decided to check the trunk.

She said she then woke up her son and called 911. A short time later Riley left the residence but returned around 8:45 p.m. and agreed to speak with the investigators at the scene. He told the deputies that his father was "mean to everyone and was getting meaner" before he gave them a statement during which he allegedly admitted to the fatal bludgeoning and stabbing.

Riley's mother indicated the father and son had a strained relationship and he had expressed a desire to kill him. An adult female friend of Riley told investigators he felt his parents should give him the family farm but he had been taken out of the will after his brother’s death in an ATV accident.

Conditional bail for Riley was set at $250,000. He is due back in court for another hearing on March 23rd.

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