Before rising to fame for his role as Detective Dutch Wagenbach on the FX series The Shield, Karnes played major roles in the late 1990s and early 2000s films Joyriders and The Next Best Thing.
He studied at the University of Kansas during the late 1980s.
He appeared in several Oregon Shakespeare Festival productions.
His marriage to film actress
He appeared with Charlie Hunnam in multiple episodes of FX's Sons of Anarchy.