2 people arrested in connection with man found dead in Nacogdoches Co. cemetery

Jason Lee (Source: Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office)
Jason Lee (Source: Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office)
Cassidy Fuqua (Source: Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office)
Cassidy Fuqua (Source: Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office)

After further investigation into the case in which a 43-year-old man was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a cemetery on Jan. 8, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office charged two people with murder in connection to his death.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said on the NCSO Facebook page that the two people were already in jail on other charges when the murder charges were added Friday.

Jason Harvey Lee, 37, of Garrison, and Cassidy Jewel Fuqua, 20, of Nacogdoches, are still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail.

Lee has been charged with first-degree felony murder, second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams, third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance between 1 and 4 grams, and Class A misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury - family violence. Fuqua's charges include first-degree felony murder and third-degree felony tampering or fabricating physical evidence.

Collectively, Lee's bond amount was set at $75,000 for the two possession charges. Fuqua's bond amount was set at $15,000 for the tampering charge.

The shooting victim has been identified as Thomas Sluterbeck, 43.

"The victim was not identified until Tuesday, January 9, 2018, with the aid of the Texas Department of Public Safety," the Facebook post stated. "Using facial recognition, DPS was able to give investigators a positive identification of the victim. Within hours after identifying the victim, law enforcement was able to locate the victim's vehicle and the suspects' vehicle parked at a residence on U.S. Highway 259."

At that point, law enforcement obtained search warrants for the two vehicles, and they were impounded and taken to the sheriff's office. Both vehicles were processed and searched.

"While at the residence, two key suspects were identified and both subjects were brought to the sheriff's office to be interviewed," the Facebook post stated. "Both subjects were later released and neither subject cooperated with the investigation."

Later in the evening of January 9, NCSO deputies executed another search warrant on a home in Rusk County where one of the suspects lived.

"Evidence was collected at the scene that further implicated the suspects in the murder case," the Facebook post stated. "Investigators also found several grams of methamphetamine inside the residence."

On the morning of Jan. 10, Bridges and a Texas Ranger conducted another interview with Fuqua, one of the suspects. According to the Facebook post, Fuqua gave them details of the sequence of events that led to Sluterbeck's death.

"A warrant was obtained for Fuqua's arrest for the offense of tampering or fabricating with physical evidence, a 3rd-degree felony," the press release stated. "She was booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail, where she has remained."

On the same day, NCSO investigators also got a possession of a controlled substance arrest warrant for Lee. He was also arrested on Jan. 10, the Facebook post stated. Lee allegedly had more meth in his possession when he was arrested.

"With both subjects in jail, and no further threat to the public, investigators began to focus on other aspects of the investigation to build the case," the Facebook post stated. "During the investigation, investigators have found and obtained enough evidence and probable cause to charge both suspects. Investigators have identified a motive for the murder as well."

Murder warrants were issued for Lee and Fuqua at 2:30 p.m. Friday. They are now awaiting arraignment on their new charges.

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