Hill City man charged in in the death of his brother

A Hill City man faces second degree murder charges for allegedly shooting and killing his brother in October 2021. According to a release from the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Investigators arrested 48-year-old James Robert Hess at his home on Tuesday morning. The victim was found deceased from a gunshot wound on May 12, 2022.

Police say William Harold Hess Jr.’s body was found inside a homemade camper just west of 380th Avenue in Hill Lake Township in Aitkin County. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined William Hess, 52 of Hill City died from a gunshot wound.

James Hess appeared in Aitkin County District Court on Wednesday. Bail is set at $1,000,000 or bond with no conditions, or $500,000 non-cash bond with conditions, or $500,000 cash bail with conditions. Police say James Hess remains in the Aitkin County Jail with additional charges pending.

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 (AIM VCET).