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Murder charges filed against Chanhassen man accused of killing his sister

The suspect was arrested after running to a nearby home and asking for help calling the police.
Credit: Carver Co. Jail
Joseph Thomas Ness

CHANHASSEN, Minn. — A Chanhassen man has been charged with 2nd-degree murder in the shooting death of his sister on Saturday.

The charges against Joseph Thomas Ness, 21, were announced Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, Ness shared a home with his adult sister and their parents. 

On Saturday, Carver County deputies were called to the home on a report of a fire alarm, the complaint states. Moments later, a neighbor called 911, saying Ness' mother had run next door saying Ness had shot and killed his sister.

A short time later, the complaint states deputies received another call from about a half mile away, where a woman reported that Ness ran up onto her property and asked for her help to call the police, saying he wanted to surrender peacefully. He was taken into custody at that address minutes later.

According to the complaint, deputies found "hundreds of spent rifle cashings, bullet holes in walls, and many windows shattered by gunfire." Investigators believe that Ness had shot from his bedroom, across the hallway into his sister's bedroom. More bullet casings were found near the victim's bed, indicating the victim may have been shot again at closer range, the complaint said.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Officer will conduct a full autopsy.

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