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Man claims self-defense, arrested for second-degree murder in Lone Tree woman's shooting death

Shooting stemmed from argument about complex access
Lone Tree death investigation
Posted at 4:17 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 19:42:12-05

UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2019): 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson announced Friday morning – ahead of 45-year-old Justin Chaney’s 8:30 a.m. court hearing – that they would not charge him with murder in the Oct. 18 shooting death of his neighbor , 24-year-old Kelly Kiess.

Brauchler and Dawson also announced that Kiess’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Andy Bernadeau, would not be formally charged with third-degree assault or any other crime for punching Chaney before the shooting at the WestView at Lincoln Station apartment complex on Park Meadows Drive in Line Tree.

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. – Two men were arrested, one on second-degree murder charges, after a woman was shot and killed at a Lone Tree apartment last Friday. The murder suspect told police he shot the woman in self-defense amid a spat over her boyfriend's access to the apartment complex.

Justin Chaney, 45, was booked over the weekend for investigation on one count of second-degree murder, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, Andy Bernadeau, 22, was booked on a third-degree assault charge but has since bonded out.

The woman who was shot and killed on Friday was identified by the sheriff’s office as Kelly Kiess, 24.

According to an affidavit for Chaney’s arrest, the shooting happened around 4 p.m. last Friday at the WestView at Lincoln Station apartment complex in the 10000 block of Park Meadows Drive.

A deputy had been called out to building 4 at the complex on a report of a verbal domestic dispute. As the deputy neared the apartment complex, he was told there was a man with a gun. And as he pulled up, he was told shots had been fired and a woman had possibly been hit.

Two deputies went to the building’s second floor and encountered Chaney, who was armed with a handgun, and his girlfriend. Both were ordered to the ground and handcuffed.

At a nearby apartment, the deputies found Kiess with a gunshot wound to her head. Bernadeau was standing next to her crying and yelling, “He shot her,” according to the affidavit. Investigators found a 9mm Taurus handgun in the pocket of a hoodie Kiess was wearing, according to the affidavit.

Deputies interviewed Bernadeau, who said he had just moved into the apartment complex with Kiess – his girlfriend – but did not have a keycard yet. He told deputies he had followed Chaney into the apartment complex, after which Chaney confronted him over his not using a keycard, according to the affidavit.

During the argument, according to the affidavit, Bernadeau slapped Chaney in the face, after which Chaney pulled a gun from his back waistband and pointed it at Bernadeau, ordering him not to move until police arrived.

Bernadeau said at one point, Kiess came out into the apartment hallway and argued with Chaney’s girlfriend. According to the affidavit, she went back into her apartment and returned with a handgun, which she pointed at Chaney.

Chaney relayed a similar chain events when interviewed by police. He said he told Kiess, “I have a gun too,” when she pointed hers at him.

But both men said that shortly after Kiess allegedly pointed the gun at Chaney, he shot her in the face. Chaney told deputies “he was in fear for his life and [his girlfriend’s] life,” according to the affidavit.

As Chaney was being handcuffed, according to the affidavit, he told deputies, “It was self defense.”

Bernadeau bonded out of jail after his arrest on the assault charge.

Chaney’s bond is set at $50,000 after his first appearance.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation was still active and did not release further information.