Four suspects charged in shooting death of 52-year-old Chaska woman

CHASKA (AP) -- A Chaska woman was shot in the head by her son's friend after he asked her twice, "Head or chest?" according to charges filed Wednesday.

CHASKA (AP) -- A Chaska woman was shot in the head by her son's friend after he asked her twice, "Head or chest?" according to charges filed Wednesday.

The details of Nancy Everson's killing were outlined Wednesday as her son, Grant Everson, and three others were charged in her death. The 52-year-old woman was shot in her home in Chaska early Sunday, while her husband escaped out a window.

The charges filed in Carver County District Court identify the gunman as Joel M. Beckrich, 20, of Burnsville.

Beckrich, Grant Everson and Christopher D. Fuhrman, both 20, and of Chaska, were all charged with aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder and with attempted first-degree murder.

Fuhrman was also charged with aiding, abetting and conspiring in second-degree intentional murder. A fourth suspect, 17, is charged as a juvenile with aiding an offender after the fact in a first-degree murder and with aiding an offender to avoid arrest in a first-degree murder.


An attorney for the family said at least one of the suspects told investigators they planned to kill Grant Everson's parents and collect money to open a coffee shop in Amsterdam.

The charges say that Beckrich told investigators he planned the slaying and was the one who killed Nancy Everson with a shotgun.

Beckrich said he and Grant Everson sneaked into the house with the shotgun and Nancy Everson met them in the mudroom and was surprised. Beckrich said he stood in front of her with the gun pointed down and asked her "Head or chest?" according to the charges. She answered by telling her son to "get the hell out of my house."

She walked toward Beckrich and he fired a warning shot. She lunged at him and he shot her in the head, the charges state.

Nancy Kracke, a spokeswoman for the Chaska School District, said nothing stood out about Beckrich, Fuhrman and Grant Everson, who were all listed in the yearbook as 2003 graduates.

"There's nothing about (Beckrich) that would have made us believe that he could have become involved in something like this," she said.

Beckrich, the son of a corporate regional vice president, enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall of 2003 with plans to major in political science. According to university officials, he never took a class and withdrew shortly after the semester began.

He enrolled again in the spring of 2004 but withdrew almost immediately, university records show.


However, Beckrich's application for an internship in Scott County said that he attended school in the fall semester of 2003 and the spring of 2004, said Jack Kemme, Scott County human resources director.

He and Fuhrman worked for Scott County at the same time -- both were hired to help upgrade computer desktops. Beckrich was asked to return to work for the county when a vacancy opened last April, Kemme said.

Friends said Grant Everson grew up hunting and camping with his family but had argued with his parents about grades and curfews in high school. After high school graduation, he had tried living with friends several times but ended up moving back home, said friend Brianna Warner. He also had tried several jobs, including being a pizza delivery man and working at Best Buy and at a cell phone service center.

His portrayal as a killer "is not him. It's the total opposite of him," said Brandon Pike, who said Grant has been his best friend since seventh grade.

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