February 13, 2018
Virginia Supreme Court revokes bail in murder case
Bernard C. Duse Jr., 76, had remained free on bond since Jan. 3. He will stand trial for murder in March.
Virginia’s Supreme Court on Monday reversed a Fauquier County Circuit Court judge’s decision last month to grant bail to man a charged with first-degree murder of the Warrenton CVS store manager.
The (circuit) court inexplicably stated that Duse had no history of violence, ignoring that he currently was under indictment for the execution-style murder of his work supervisor. Additionally, the court never discussed Duse’s long history of mental health disorders, his history of protracted litigation against former employers, or the evidence that former co-workers, supervisors, and a customer had reported fearing him.
— Virginia Supreme Court ruling
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.
After a bond hearing on Jan. 3, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker approved the release of Bernard C. Duse Jr. on a $75,000 bond.
Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher challenged that ruling to Virginia’s Court of Appeals, which affirmed it.
But the supreme court reversed that finding, agreeing with the commonwealth’s attorney that Judge Parker had “abused” the circuit’s “discretion” in granting Mr. Duse’s bail request.
Mr. Duse returned to jail Tuesday.
“The Commonwealth contends the circuit court abused its discretion for four reasons,” the supreme court’s nine-page opinion reads.
Agreeing with the prosecutor, the seven-member panel found that Judge Parker “abused” the circuit court’s “discretion” by:
• Applying “the doctrine of presumed innocence to a pre-trial bail hearing.
“By virtue of being indicted for first-degree murder, Duse is ‘presumed’ to be ‘an unreasonable danger to himself or the public’ and a flight risk. . . . Therefore, by applying the presumption of innocence, the circuit court utilized an erroneous legal standard to guide its consideration” of the applicable code factors, “and (the) decision regarding bail, premised on that consideration, was an abuse of discretion.”
• “Finding that the brutal and calculated circumstances of the murder were outweighed by the absence of ‘any specific threat’ or ‘immediate threat’ to any other individuals.”
Mr. Duse last July 26 allegedly murdered Rex Mack Olsen, 64, manager of the CVS store on Blackwell Road.
The attack took place at about 10:15 p.m. in the store’s parking lot, near a dumpster.
Execution-style, Mr. Duse twice shot Mr. Olsen of Culpeper — first in the back of the head and, after he fell to the ground, in the face, according to the prosecution.
• “Speculating that Duse was ‘unlikely’ to abscond because of his age.”
• “Wholly discounting and according no weight to Duse’s well-documented prior history of mental health disorders.”
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.
Mr. Duse’s trial will take place March 19 to 23 in circuit court.
ORD 02-12-2018 Commonwealth of Virginia by Fauquier Now on Scribd
Please, be polite. Avoid name-calling and profanity.
For credibility, sign your real name; stand behind your comments. Readers will give less credence to anonymous posts.
citizen observer · February 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm
Parker has become a joke and needs to be removed from the bench. Particularly after his WalMart extravaganza.
Citizen Voice · February 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm
what was Parker thinking?
Enter your email address above to begin receiving
news updates from FauquierNow.com via email.
Wednesday, July 18
Weekend events in Fauquier include a historic walking tour, The Elizabeth Lawrence Band, a vendor fair and pop up coffee shop
Tuesday, July 17
Ronnie Ross seeks Democratic nomination to challenge three-term incumbent Jill Vogel in November 2019
More Fauquier news
Tuesday, July 17
Board in coming months will get recommendation on candidate to construct building in Warrenton