NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An arrest affidavit identified a 37-year-old Garrison man as the shooter in a murder case. The victim, a 43-year-old man, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds on Jan. 8.
The second suspect in the case allegedly confessed to throwing the gun that was used in the crime out of a window of their car.
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.
According to Fuqua's tampering with evidence affidavit, Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched out to the Gravel Ridge Cemetery located off of FM 225 to check out a report that gunshots were heard at that location on Jan. 8. When they got there, they found the body of a man who had been shot multiple times.
NCSO investigators and a Texas Ranger started investigating the case and identified Fuqua as a suspect in the case. When Fuqua was brought in for an interview, she allegedly confessed to being at the crime scene with Lee and Sluterbeck and said that Lee shot the other man multiple times.
After the shooting incident, Lee and Fuqua got back into their vehicle, the affidavit stated.
"The defendant advised that a firearm was given to her by the subject that was involved in the shooting of the victim," the affidavit stated. "The defendant admitted to throwing the firearm out the window of the vehicle to get rid of the evidence."
According to Lee's arrest affidavit for the murder charge, evidence collected during the investigation, including impressions, financial records, video surveillance, and witness interviews, led investigators to believe that Lee was the person who shot Sluterbeck.
"The victim was not identified until Tuesday, January 9, 2018, with the aid of the Texas Department of Public Safety," an NCSO 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, according to a previous East Texas News story. 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."