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November 29, 2017

CVS murder case scheduled for 5-day trial in March

Bernard C. Duse Jr.
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26 murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 76, of Alexandria.

• Charges: First-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

• Sentence: If convicted, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and a maximum three years for the weapon charge.

• Defense attorney: John F. Carroll, Fairfax.

• Prosecutor: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher.

• Next: Jury trial scheduled March 19-23 in Fauquier County Circuit Court.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The accused killer of a Warrenton pharmacy manager next spring will get up to a five-day jury trial in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

A grand jury Monday indicted Bernard Clark Duse Jr., 76, of Alexandria, on a first-degree murder charge in the July shooting death of Culpeper resident Rex Mack Olsen in the parking lot of the CVS store on Blackwell Road.

The grand jury also indicted Mr. Duse on one count of using a firearm in the commission of a murder.

Mr. Duse’s trial will take place March 19 to 23 in circuit court.

If convicted of both charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher will prosecute the case.

Most murder trials take four to 10 days, said Mr. Fisher, who estimates he’s handled more than 50 such cases as a defense attorney and prosecutor in Fairfax, Loudoun and Fauquier during the last 27 years.

The Duse trial could be completed in fewer than five days, Mr. Fisher said.

“It’s just a planning estimate for the court,” the prosecutor said of the trial schedule.

Mr. Fisher declined to speculate about the case’s outcome.

“We just have a job to do,” he said. “Pursue justice as zealously as possible . . . . There are no guarantees. You simply work hard and do the best you can.

Fairfax lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The defendant allegedly shot Manager Olsen twice near the store’s dumpster at about 10:15 p.m. July 26.

During a November preliminary hearing in Fauquier County General District Court, Warrenton police Sgt. Tim Carter testified that he interviewed a witness the night of the killing who heard two “firecracker” noises, “saw one man standing over another man” and “saw a bright flash in front of the hand” of Mr. Olsen’s assailant.

Mr. Olsen and Mr. Duse “had a strained relationship” related to an age discrimination lawsuit the defendant had filed against CVS, court documents indicate. During that proceeding, Mr. Olsen “testified unfavorably against” Mr. Duse, who had hoped to become a store manager.

Married without children, Mr. Duse attended the University of Pittsburgh on scholarship, served in Vietnam as an Army lieutenant and earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University, according to his family.

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