A Fairfax County grand jury handed down indictments Monday against Jason Edward Lee, 23, of Ocala, Fla., for the murder of Richard Gluckstern, 46, of the Fairfax Corner area.
Lee was indicted on four counts: one count of first-degree murder, two counts of grand larceny and one count of credit card theft, according to the indictment.
On Tuesday, June 14, Gluckstern’s mother called Fairfax County Police to check on her son’s welfare, according to police reports. Police subsequently visited Gluckstern's home in the 12100 block of Elm Forest Way, near the Fairfax County Government Center. Police found Gluckstern dead in his apartment of apparent asphyxiation.
Police are still investigating the time of death, said Lt. Rich Perez of the Fairfax County Police Department, but the indictment places the time frame of the crimes as Saturday, June 11. There was no evidence of a break-in or forced entry, said Perez, and the police are considering the possibility that Lee and Gluckstern knew each other.
Del Ward, a close friend of Gluckstern’s and a co-worker at Freddie Mac, said that police told him that Gluckstern and Lee had met at a county fair. Ward said that in the weeks before his death, Gluckstern had been "trying to be less introverted and more involved," and may have become friends with Lee against his better judgment.
Co-workers at Freddie Mac described Gluckstern as "a delightful human being."
"He had friends of all persuasions," said Ward. "He would always hear everyone’s point of view, and understand their point of view."
"We work at the computer help desk at Freddie Mac," said Maia Sowell, another co-worker of Gluckstern’s at Freddie Mac. "We work very closely, sharing information with one another all day long … Richard was very quick to help you. He would jump out of his chair and come over to help you with a smile. He never blew you off."
Ward agreed. "If you didn’t know the answer, he would find the answer for you."
Sowell and Ward both described Gluckstern’s quick wit and a penchant for one-liners and word puns.
"The newest little phrase that he coined was ‘good grape juice,’ instead of ‘good gracious,’" said Sowell. "This the type of person who he was."
"He made a point to say ‘good morning’ to everyone," said coworker Denice Woodruff. "He was the type of person you wish the world had more of, it would make it a better place to be."
Funereal services for Gluckstern took place on Thursday, June 16.
On Monday, June 13, Marion County, Fla., deputies arrested Lee for violating his probation on burglary and grand theft charges, according to the police report. Lee had checked into a hotel in Marion County where he had stayed before, said Susan Lavoti of the Marion County Sheriff’s office. The hotel clerk called the police after going online and seeing that Lee had an outstanding probation warrant, Lavoti said.
"When we picked [Lee] up, we found personal items of Mr. Gluckstern’s on him and did a welfare check in Fairfax County," said Lavoti. "At that point, we turned the case over to police there."
Besides the murder, the indictment also charges Lee with stealing Gluckstern’s Compaq laptop and Visa credit card and taking and driving Gluckstern’s 1994 Honda. The laptop was registered to Freddie Mac, where Gluckstern had worked.
"If Lee does not fight the extradition, he will go to trial in Virginia," said Officer Shelley Broderick of the Fairfax County Police Department. "If he is found guilty in Virginia, whatever sentence he gets he will serve here." After that sentence is served, and if the Florida district attorney so chooses, Lee will face his separate charges there, said Lavoti.
Lee is in custody in Florida for violating his probation. The Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Office will start the extradition process to bring Lee back to Virginia, where he will stand trial on the murder, larceny and credit card theft charges.