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Aitkin County man charged with brother’s murder

The victim, identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office as William Harold Hess Jr., 52, of Hill City, was found deceased from a gunshot wound on May 12, 2022, inside of a homemade camper.

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HILL CITY — A Hill City man was charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of his brother.

James Robert Hess
James Robert Hess

Investigators arrested James Robert Hess, 48, Tuesday, May 24, at his home. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Aitkin County Jail, the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The victim, identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office as William Harold Hess Jr., 52, of Hill City was found deceased from a gunshot wound on May 12, 2022, inside a homemade camper just west of 380th Avenue in Hill Lake Township in Aitkin County.

The homicide investigation was conducted by the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with significant assistance from the Aitkin, Itasca, and Mille Lacs Violent Crime Enforcement Team.

James Robert Hess appeared in Aitkin County District Court May 25 before Judge David Hermerding. His release conditions were set at $1,000,000 bail or bond with no conditions, or $500,000 non-cash bond with conditions, or $500,000 cash bail with conditions.

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Hess remains in the Aitkin County Jail with additional charges pending, the sheriff’s office reported.

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