Indictment returned as true bill in Jason Lee case

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jason Lee was indicted Thursday on the charge of first degree murder by the Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury that includes Lunenburg County.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement said he presented the indictment in this fashion rather than waiting until Aug. 1 for the next regular grand jury “so they did not lose the trial date of July 26 and 27 already selected by the attorneys and the court for a jury trial.”

According to Clement, this followed a rejection of the indictment by the regular grand jury of Lunenburg on June 6. State law allows the indictment to be presented again while the defendant remained in jail. “The rejection on June 6 was an aberration,” said Clement. “I felt confident that it would not happen again.”

The procedure for a Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury was established by statute in 1983 to allow one grand jury to sit for a number of counties and/or cities to consider criminal investigations for certain serious crimes, including murder and is often used to require witnesses to testify under oath with their testimony being preserved by a court reporter, said Clement.

This particular Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury includes Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Halifax, Charlotte, Pittsylvania and Campbell Counties.

Sgt. Aaron Peter, of the Kenbridge Police Department, testified to the grand jury in Halifax. Clement said the grand jury of nine men and women, including two Lunenburg County residents, unanimously returned the true bill in less than 10 minutes.