Joseph E. Lucio III pleaded guilty today to the second-degree murder of his housemate nine months ago. He will return to court for sentencing in May.
At about 4 a.m. on April 7, 2020, Leesburg Police officers were called to a home in the Fox Chapel neighborhood off Fort Evans Road SE for a report of a man in cardiac arrest. Upon arrival, the officers found Joel Rodriguez-Quezada, 48, with apparent trauma to his face and head. He died at the scene.
Detectives determined Lucio, 20, and Rodriguez-Quezada, who were housemates, were involved in a physical altercation that night.According to the April 2020 complaint, Lucio admitted to punching Rodriguez-Quezada in the face “several times” and biting his ear before leaving him lying on the living room floor and going to bed.
Lucio was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a punishment of 20 years to life in prison, but county prosecutors in October agreed to reduce that charge to second-degree murder, which carries a punishment of five to 40 years in prison.
Circuit Court Judge James P. Fisher will review sentencing guidelines April 8 and pronounce sentencing May 20.
Lucio has been held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center since April.