Crime & Courts

Seward resident charged with murder of 2 men who ‘were not supposed to be on’ his property

A shooting near Seward on Monday evening left two men dead and one man in jail on murder charges.

Alaska State Troopers responded to a home on the 33000 block of Nash Road outside Seward just after 6 p.m. after receiving a call from a man who claimed to have shot and killed two men inside their van, Trooper John King wrote in a sworn affidavit.

The man who made the call, 30-year-old Joseph Chandler of Seward, told King he confronted Dustin Marx, 28, and Michael White, 40, after the two pulled onto his property in a white Ford van, according to the affidavit.

Chandler said the men were “not supposed to be on the property,” and he had gone outside to tell them to leave, King wrote.

During the 10- to 20-minute argument that followed, Marx reportedly called Chandler names, threatened him and made “gestures” with his hands in his pockets, according to the charges.

When Marx threatened to kill Chandler “eventually," Chandler pulled out a gun and shot Marx in the head through the open driver’s-side window, he told King.

He said he then turned his gun on White, who was trying to escape into the back of the van, and emptied the remainder of his rounds at him, according to the affidavit.


When King asked Chandler if he’d checked to see whether the men were dead, Chandler said he had “presumed to execute Michael White as he was reaching for something.”

King found the two men dead in the van — Marx slumped in the driver’s seat and White semi-reclined in the back — but wrote that no weapons were found inside.

Chandler was wearing a 9mm pistol on a leg holster when he met the trooper in the driveway, King wrote. The gun had a full magazine and a live round in the chamber. The gun and holster were confiscated, along with an additional empty magazine on Chandler’s belt, the affidavit said.

Chandler was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and taken to the Seward jail, where he was being held without bail.

Marx and White were both out on bail for felonies when they were killed, court records show. White had been charged in October 2018 with second-degree theft, among other crimes, and Marx was facing several charges, including second-degree burglary.

It’s unclear from the charges how Chandler knew the two men who died.

Chandler has no prior felonies or misdemeanors in Alaska.

Madeline McGee

Madeline McGee is a general assignment reporter for the Daily News.