Tuesday, April 7, 2009

... And That's a Wrap Here...

Updated @ 4/12/2009: Any additional information about Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' case will be made available at Harlow & Joe... Part 2.

PC

Harlow to File Appeal...

Sources tell me that an attorney is preparing to file an appeal for Harlow Cuadra.

Update @ 4:26 PM: The appeal has been filed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania by Attorney Paul J. Walker.

Update @ 4:34 PM: The appeal is from "the Conviction and Sentence on March 16, 2009".

Update @ 4:41 PM: The Citizens' Voice is also reporting that Harlow Raymond Cuadra, who was convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence for Bryan Kocis' January 2007 stabbing death, is appealing his guilty verdict.

Cuadra "hereby appeals to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from the Conviction and Sentence on March 16, 2009," reads a one-page document filed at the Luzerne County Courthouse today by Cuadra's attorney Paul J. Walker.

Cuadra, 27, of Virginia Beach, Va., was found guilty following a three-week-long trial, but the jury could not reach a unanimous decision for the death penalty.

Update @ 5:50 PM: If I had to guess... the appeal will have something to do with inadequate time for Harlow's (paid) attorney's to mount a proper defense... that and probably some moaning about the Fannick issue a year ago (that's my guess). Look for the complete filing to the Superior Court to be revealed shortly.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I am Harlow Raymond Cuadra...

It's quite interesting to watch this again, especially now knowing that Harlow Cuadra was found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to two life terms:

video

What's most interesting to me: contrary to what Harlow Cuadra thought/says... the jurors that I've spoken with had no issue about the 'being gay' factor... hell, some of them even happily admitted to having gay family members... but I guess just like the testimony during his trial... Harlow's 'spin' didn't win.

Ever since Harlow's arrest, many shouted from the rooftops... 'Harlow's innocent'... 'Harlow wouldn't hurt a fly'... 'Harlow was framed'... etc.

Hmm... makes you wonder where all of these same so-called 'supporters' are now, as it's been a virtual 'cricket-fest' ever since the verdict was announced by the jury.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Inmate Handbook

When you're going to spend the rest of your life in prison, I guess reading a handbook that's 77 pages long can help pass some of the time away. This inmate handbook was given to Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes when they arrived at SCI Camp Hill. It's an interesting read:

"The Mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is to protect the public by confining persons committed to our custody in safe, secure facilities, and to provide opportunities for inmates to acquire the skills snd values necessary to become productive law-abiding citizens; while respecting the rights of crime victims."

"The purpose of this handbook is to provide general information to you and others interested in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). When DOC policies are changed you will be given notice of the change(s), and the most current policy will become effective, regardless of what information is in this handbook. A new handbook will be issued at least every three years.

The handbook is not a guide to the detailed policies of the DOC (which are subject to change) or all procedures in effect at each DOC facility. That information will be made available to you during the facility's reception and orientation program. The material in this handbook will help you understand what you will encounter when you enter the DOC, and help you in your adjustment to facility life.

You are to keep this handbook from the time it is given to you until you are released. If your handbook is lost or ruined, you may receive a new one, but you must pay for it. The cost of the new handbook will be determined when you get the new one. You are expected to conduct yourself in an orderly and mature manner and to respect the rights of others. Some of the programs and services available to you are mentioned in this book. You may get more information about available programs or services by reading your Facility Handbook Supplement, or by sending a request slip to the staff member in charge of that program or service. You should discuss your needs, goals, and interests with staff. Your conduct and attitude will be observed and will be reviewed by staff when they consider you for programs, pre-release, parole, and other privileges. You should try to make good use of the time you are in the DOC by using programs and services to better yourself and get ready for parole. If you are serving a life sentence, taking part in programs and being misconduct free is an important part of the commutation process.

You are responsible for knowing and following all of the DOC's rules that directly affect you. When a rule change is made, you will either be issued a bulletin that outlines the change and a notice will be posted on the housing unit bulletin boards. All notices and signs prepared by DOC officials are considered policy and must be followed. All of the policies containing rules that directly affect you are available on your housing unit and in the facility library. The policies in the library may be checked out just like a library book."

Inmate Handbook

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

After Camp Hill... the Next Step

Once classification is completed and room becomes available, convicted murders' Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes will likely be moved to another facility. Once they get to their respective prison(s), they'll meet with a corrections counselor that will help them make a Correctional Plan:

The Correctional Plan is intended to serve as a "road map" for the inmate to help him chart behavior and program activities during his life in custody. The Correctional Plan lists problems and treatment needs to be worked on by the inmate and recommends specific programs that the inmate needs to attend. Additionally, the Correctional Plan makes it clear that the inmate is expected to maintain good housing, work and school evaluations and remain misconduct free.

In addition to the program needs, the Correctional Plan looks at the inmate’s custody level and interests. The Correctional Plan is signed by both the inmate and the counselor and is reviewed and updated at least once a year. The Correctional Plan includes maintaining good behavior, going to school if needed and having a job in the facility. The results of the Correctional Plan are given to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole so that the Board knows whether the inmate has worked on his/her program and how the inmate has behaved while in prison. This will help decide if the inmate is ready to be released or needs to serve more time.

[PC Notes: Since Harlow and Joe have both been sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison, it's unlikely the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole would ever consider a release... but then again you never know.]

Source: Prison Handbook for Families and Friends

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harlow Cuadra has Left the Building...

Convicted murder Harlow Cuadra has officially left Luzerne County, and will now be residing at SCI Camp Hill, which is just across the river from Harrisburg, PA. Here... Harlow will spend the next four to six weeks undergoing the standard diagnostic and classification process, where he'll be tested for mental, physical, and emotional problems so he can receive a correctional plan (more about the procedure can be found here).

SCI Camp Hill

Once the diagnostic process is completed, Harlow will be given a classification level, and only then will a determination be made as to which SCI facility he'll carry out his double-life sentence. If I had to guess... it'll be either SCI Greene, SCI Graterford, or SCI Frackville... all maximum-security prisons.

Harlow's inmate number should be known by tomorrow morning, and I'll post it as soon as it's made available.

Update @ 04/01/2009: Harlow Cuadra's Inmate Number: HZ1869

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Trip of a Lifetime (x2)...

On March 16, 2009, Harlow Cuadra was sentenced to two life sentences without parole for the brutal slaying of Bryan Kocis. Judge Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., ordered that Harlow be sent to an SCI (State Correctional Institution) within 10 days of his sentence (but he wasn't) ... though from the words of a 'source':

'Just because the judge orders a transfer within so many days does not mean it necessarily happens that quickly. There's a lot of paperwork that has to be updated, and commitment forms need to be created. In addition... the jail transfers inmates twice a week, and they can only take so many at a time... so if there were a lot of SCI sentences in one particular week... they get backed up.'

Harlow Cuadra will be going to SCI Camp Hill on Tuesday... it's also my hope that we'll have a prison number for him on that day too... I'll report it accordingly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Appeals Process

Now that Harlow Cuadra's been found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison, he's faced with two choices. Cuadra can either accept his fate, or try his luck at getting a reduced charge/sentence, new trial, or acquittal by filing an appeal. If Harlow chooses to file an appeal, here's the steps that must be taken:

Rule 720. Post-Sentencing Procedures; Appeal.

(A) TIMING.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (C) and (D), a written post-sentence motion shall be filed no later than 10 days after imposition of sentence.

(2) If the defendant files a timely post-sentence motion, the notice of appeal shall be filed:

(a) within 30 days of the entry of the order deciding the motion;

(b) within 30 days of the entry of the order denying the motion by operation of law in cases in which the judge fails to decide the motion; or

(c) within 30 days of the entry of the order memorializing the withdrawal in cases in which the defendant withdraws the motion.

(3) If the defendant does not file a timely post-sentence motion, the defendant’s notice of appeal shall be filed within 30 days of imposition of sentence, except as provided in paragraph (A)(4).

(4) If the Commonwealth files a timely motion to modify sentence pursuant to Rule 721, the defendant’s notice of appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the entry of the order disposing of the Commonwealth’s motion.

(B) OPTIONAL POST-SENTENCE MOTION.

(1) Generally.

(a) The defendant in a court case shall have the right to make a post-sentence motion. All requests for relief from the trial court shall be stated with specificity and particularity, and shall be consolidated in the post-sentence motion, which may include:

(i) a motion challenging the validity of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or the denial of a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere;

(ii) a motion for judgment of acquittal;

(iii) a motion in arrest of judgment;

(iv) a motion for a new trial; and/or

(v) a motion to modify sentence.

(b) The defendant may file a supplemental post-sentence motion in the judge’s discretion as long as the decision on the supplemental motion can be made in compliance with the time limits of paragraph (B)(3).

(c) Issues raised before or during trial shall be deemed preserved for appeal whether or not the defendant elects to file a post-sentence motion on those issues.

(2) Trial Court Action.

(a) Briefing Schedule

Within 10 days after a post-sentence motion is filed, if the judge determines that briefs or memoranda of law are required for a resolution of the motion, the judge shall schedule a date certain for the submission of briefs or memoranda of law by the defendant and the Commonwealth.

(b) Hearing; Argument

The judge shall also determine whether a hearing or argument on the motion is required, and if so, shall schedule a date or dates certain for one or both.

(c) Transcript

If the grounds asserted in the post-sentence motion do not require a transcript, neither the briefs nor hearing nor argument on the post-sentence motion shall be delayed for transcript preparation.

(3) Time Limits for Decision on Motion.

The judge shall not vacate sentence pending decision on the post-sentence motion, but shall decide the motion as provided in this paragraph.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (B)(3)(b), the judge shall decide the post-sentence motion, including any supplemental motion, within 120days of the filing of the motion. If the judge fails to decide the motion within 120 days, or to grant an extension as provided in paragraph (B)(3)(b), the motion shall be deemed denied by operation of law.

(b) Upon motion of the defendant within the 120-day disposition period, for good cause shown, the judge may grant one 30-day extension for decision on the motion. If the judge fails to decide the motion within the 30-day extension period, the motion shall be deemed denied by operation of law.

(c) When a post-sentence motion is denied by operation of law, the clerk of courts shall forthwith enter an order on behalf of the court, and, as provided in Rule 114, forthwith shall serve a copy of the order on the attorney for the Commonwealth, the defendant’s attorney, or the defendant if unrepresented, that the post-sentence motion is deemed denied. This order is not subject to reconsideration.

(d) If the judge denies the post-sentence motion, the judge promptly shall issue an order and the order shall be filed and served as provided in Rule 114.

(e) If the defendant withdraws a post-sentence motion, the judge promptly shall issue an order memorializing the withdrawal, and the order shall be filed and served as provided in Rule 114.

(4) Contents of Order.

An order denying a post-sentence motion, whether issued by the judge pursuant to paragraph (B)(3)(d) or entered by the clerk of courts pursuant to paragraph (B)(3)(c), or an order issued following a defendant’s withdrawal of the post-sentence motion, shall include notice to the defendant of the following:

(a) the right to appeal and the time limits within which the appeal must be filed;

(b) the right to assistance of counsel in the preparation of the appeal;

(c) the rights, if the defendant is indigent, to appeal in forma pauperis and to proceed with assigned counsel as provided in Rule 122; and

(d) the qualified right to bail under Rule 521(B).

(C) AFTER-DISCOVERED EVIDENCE.

A post-sentence motion for a new trial on the ground of after-discovered evidence must be filed in writing promptly after such discovery.

(D) SUMMARY CASE APPEALS.

There shall be no post-sentence motion in summary case appeals following a trial de novo in the court of common pleas. The imposition of sentence immediately following a determination of guilt at the conclusion of the trial de novo shall constitute a final order for purposes of appeal.

Source: The Pennsylvania Code