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Grandson confesses how he killed grandparents in double homicide case

A grandson shares graphic killing details about his crime against his grandparents.
A grandson shares graphic killing details about his crime against his grandparents.
Courtesy of KUSA

As Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills continues to search for the killers of an elderly couple from the Great Waters community at famed Reynolds Property in Georgia, a grandson who participated in the murder of his grandparents tells another law enforcement agency how he and his girlfriend killed Charles and Shirley Severance at their home.

According to 9News, Brendan Johnson has confessed to entering his grandparents' home on May 20 wearing dark-colored clothing with a plan that he and his girlfriend would each smother one victim with bed pillows. Both victims struggled, with Johnson resorting to choking his grandfather Charles, but telling police he believes the old man had a heart attack during the battle rather than dying as a resort of the smothering or choking.

Johnson's girlfriend relaxed her grip on his grandmother Shirley after that, moving out of the way to let him handle the 70-year-old woman, who asked for a drink of water from the son of her own child. He gave it to her, but even though she begged for her life and offered the couple money to just leave they refused. So she tried to flee, but Johnson tried to slit her throat, which only ended up cutting her jaw.

Shirley Severance tried to make it out of the house, but her grandson pulled her back inside based upon his confession detailed in the police arrest affidavit, and though she continued to offer him money he began stabbing her repeatedly near the safe in the living room, as did his girlfriend Cassandra Rieb.

Why are you doing this to me?" the elderly grandmother asked her grandson, according to Rieb.

You know why," Johnson allegedly told her.

The 19-year-old family member than proceeded to use a string in which to strangle his grandmother, which he believes is what finally killed her. The teen couple then moved her body back to the bedroom, where his grandfathers lay. And they cleaned up the crime scene before returning the next day to remove Shirley Severance's body to two different locations. Her partial remains were found at Prewitt Reservoir, where her own grandson told police he attempted to set her own fire and dismember her before burying part of her in a fire pit there. Additional remains of the elderly woman victim was found near Nebraska.

And if the graphic details and cavalier manner in which this young man disposed of his elderly family members were not enough, he went on to tell police that after he got rid of his grandmother's remains, he and his 18-year-old girlfriend then "returned (home), went to bed and called 911 the next day," weaving a false tale to police initially about the crime, but folding later when confronted with inconsistencies and Cassandra Rieb's disclosures.

Both suspects are being held without bond in Sterling. And they have admitted to having planned this crime since the beginning of May.

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