CARLSBAD — A 44-year-old man accused of slaughtering his parents in their Carlsbad home nearly two months ago was arraigned on murder charges March 2 in a Vista courtroom.
Dennis Brian Gluck of Carlsbad pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder with the allegation that he used a weapon, in this case a machete, to brutally murder his parents. Jean and Harry Gluck, 77 and 90, respectively, were found dead in their home in the 2700 block of Chestnut Avenue.
At the brief hearing, Dennis Gluck appeared emotionless as Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett, at the request of prosecutors, changed his bail from $5 million to a no bail hold.
The no bail request was granted because the case against Dennis Gluck is a capital offense, Deputy District Attorney Steven Carver said outside the courtroom. To file a capital case in California prosecutors have to charge a special circumstance, which in this case is the commission of multiple murders.
Because a special circumstance is alleged, Dennis Gluck could face life in prison without parole or the death penalty if convicted, Carver said. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will make that decision at a later date, he said.
Mexican police apprehended Dennis Gluck on the evening of Feb. 26 on a bus near Ensenada and turned him over to Carlsbad police detectives around 1:35 a.m. Feb. 27 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, authorities said.
Investigators said transactions from Mexico started to appear on Dennis Gluck’s ATM card Jan. 16. During his time in the country, authorities believe he traveled approximately 2,000 miles through Baja and mainland Mexico.
Dennis Gluck’s parents were found Jan. 18 after family members asked the police to check on the couple because they couldn’t reach them by telephone, according to the affidavit for an arrest warrant. Also Jean Gluck’s brother, Tom Regan, 78, who is legally blind and hearing impaired, told one of his nephews that he believed the couple left on Jan. 16 with Dennis Gluck, but hadn’t returned home yet. Regan also resided at the residence.
When police arrived, Regan was at the residence and granted access to the home so officers could complete a welfare check, according to the affidavit.
Inside the couple’s bedroom, police found their mutilated bodies, Carlsbad police Detective Bryan Hargett wrote in the affidavit. Additionally, the head and torso of Harry Gluck appeared to be burned and then extinguished, the detective wrote in affidavit.
Blood stains were found throughout the couples bedroom, in the shower, and on clothing and furniture in Dennis Gluck’s room, according to the affidavit. During the search of a small shed attached to the house, police found a machete with blood on it and a gasoline can, which they believe was used as an accelerant to start the fire.
One of Dennis Gluck’s brothers told detectives his brother lived off and on with his parents, the affidavit states. He said Dennis Gluck is schizophrenic, but didn’t take any medication for his mental illness. He added that sometimes his brother kept kitchen knives under his mattress in the Carlsbad home.
Dennis Gluck pleaded guilty in 2000 to threatening a person with a machete and was placed on probation, according to court documents.
In 1992, a domestic case was filed between Gluck and his father; however the documents pertaining to that case were not immediately available.
Gluck’s next scheduled court appearance is a March 11 readiness conference. His preliminary hearing is set for March 16.