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Teens Accused In Sterling Double Murder Advised Of Charges

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STERLING, Colo. (CBS4/AP)- Two teens accused of murdering both of one of the suspect’s grandparents appeared in court Wednesday morning.

Brendan Lee Johnson, 19, and his girlfriend Cassandra Ann Rieb, 18, face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, forgery and theft.

Brendan Johnson, Cassandra Rieb (credit: CBS)

Brendan Johnson, Cassandra Rieb (credit: CBS)

They appeared in court where Logan County District Court Judge Michael Singer told them the charges carry a possible sentence of death or life without parole.

Investigators say part of Shirley Anne Severance’s remains were found near Sterling and near Lorenzo, Neb. Her husband, Charles Severance, was found dead in their home last weekend.

Shirley Severance (credit: CBS)

Shirley Severance (credit: CBS)

Johnson is also facing two counts of felony forgery which can carry a sentence of one to three years. Formal charges have not yet been filed with the court. A hearing was set for June 18 to review any changes to the charges.

Arrest affidavits show both teens told police they planned to kill Johnson’s grandparents by smothering them with pillows as they slept. Police say Rieb told them Johnson wanted to inherit their house and $20,000 from their checking account.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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