Sunday, December 30, 2007

Was Robert Wagner There?

Robert Wagner (left)

I'm sure that's a question we'd all like the definitive answer to. Unfortunately, we'll likely have to wait until the trial to find out. Meanwhile, I've been researching the evidence, and to be honest... I still don't know what to think at this point.

Rob posted the following on Elm's blog:

"Wagner was ordered by Kocis to return to Dallas Townhip in anticipation of this meeting. We know from an intercept that Joe noted a parked car with NY tags to the far right in Kocis' driveway. The Nissan SUV was parked behind this car. Joe asked the party who that car belonged to."

Bryan Kocis' House

The only problem with this statement is that if you look at the picture (above) taken on the night of the fire, (click on the image) you can clearly see Kocis' BMW SUV is parked on the far right. So unless Robert went out to play parking valet before, or after calling 911... that story just doesn't make sense. It might if Wagner's car was parked on the left side. Also, after reviewing satellite and video images (below), it would appear that Kocis only had a single-lane driveway:



According to the affidavit "Wagner stated that on 01/24/07, at approx 1830 hrs., he spoke with the victim via telephone. During said conversation, the victim advised that he was expecting "a boy" to come to the victim's house. Wagner stated that he believed that "the boy's" name started with a "D", and that he was from the Allentown/Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. "The Boy" refered to by Kocis was purportedly the same individual whose photo was sent by Kocis to Wagner."

This phone call was made shortly before Harlow arrived. Unless Robert was already on his way, I can't imagine he'd be able to get to Back Mountain from New York in less than an hour, or so. If Wagner was already in PA, why would Kocis feel the need to call him, surely he would have already known.

In the beach tapes, it's mentioned that Harlow and Joe illustrate a bedroom upstairs... so it sounds to me that they had enough time to go room to room in the search for loot to take back to VA. Unless Robert was cowering in a closet, or hiding under a bed, wouldn't Harlow and Joe have found him?

Then we have the email Harlow sends to Bryan: "In an email dated 01/23/07, "Danny" writes; "...umm can we please be alone...at least this first time. Thanks. Danny." The victim responds that "we'll be alone, no worries..."

Now a few things I do find a little odd are:

On the following day after the murder/fire one of Bryan's neighbors notices that his Maserati was missing. Since the house was surrounded by police tape, and with the likelyhood of fire/police officials being at the location all night long... who took the Maserati , and when?

The 911 call was made at approx 2034... unfortunately, what we don't know is who made the call. Why that bit of information hasn't been released still puzzles me.

So to close... I don't know if Robert was at Bryan's the night of the murder or not... but from what I've seen for evidence thus far, it would certainly give me a reasonable doubt that he was. Unless someone is willing to provide factual proof that he was, I guess we'll just have to wait until the trial.

Friday, December 28, 2007

How Did They Know?

While compiling the time-line yesterday, I stumbled upon something quite interesting:

01/23/07 - At approx. 0940 hrs. a silver/grey Nissan Xterra SUV is rented from Enterprise Leasing Company in the name of Harlow R. Cuadra, using his Virginia driver's license, signature, and Discover Credit Card.

01/25/07 - Pennsylvania State Police learn that on the morning of 01/25/07, Officer Brent Riddick, Virginia Beach Police, obtained the registration number for a silver/grey Nissan Xterra SUV with dark trim and three brake lights. Said registration came back to "Enterprise Leasing Company", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va.. Further investigation revealed that said vehicle was rented by accused Cuadra on 01/23.

01/25/07 - The SUV is returned to Enterprise Leasing Company at approx 1245 hrs... mileage out on the vehicle was 21357, mileage in was recorded as 22409.

Did you catch it? Somehow, Virginia Beach Police knew about the vehicle before it was even returned. This means someone had to have contacted the police, and provided them with a license plate number. None of the eye-witnesses mentioned seeing a license plate number during the preliminary hearing, so now the question is who did tell police?

This might also imply that investigators knew Harlow Cuadra may have been a suspect as early as the day after the murder.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Harlow and Joe Open Thread (Redux)

Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra

Since this week is likely to be a bit slow Court-wise... I figured it would be another great opportunity to do an open thread. Feel free to discuss what you'd like as long as it pertains to the trial of Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes.

Some interesting things that have happened over the past week, that may help in getting some good discussions going:

- The district attorney’s office is asking for conflict counsel to replace the public defenders’ office because a similar issue almost caused a mistrial in the William Rohland death penalty case earlier this year. Judge Olszewski is concerned new counsel could delay the case further. The judge plans to rule on the issue in the future.

- Bufalino and Kerekes’ other attorneys, Shelley Centini and John Pike, said prosecutors did not present enough evidence at a preliminary hearing to take Kerekes to trial. They want the homicide and other charges dismissed.

- Harlow and Joe's house hits the 'short sale'... can they sell before foreclosure?
---
I'll be posting a very detailed "Year in Review" by the end of the week, it'll certainly be a comprehensive list... so be sure to stay tuned. As always, if/when something newsworthy actually does occur beforehand, I'll post it immediately.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Harlow and Joe's Christmas in Jail

As yet another holiday approaches, accused killers Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes will have the opportunity to enjoy another very special day behind bars. Just like Thanksgiving... they'll both be served a traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. meal with a dessert appropriate for the holiday.

In most cases inmates aren't allowed gifts, though it is possible that Harlow and/or Joe might receive an approved gift from either a sanctioned church group, or some other organization. These gifts usually consist of items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, a writing tablet, envelopes, a writing pen, a bar of soap and mints or candy.

My special thanks to AW Langan from the Lackawanna County Prison for providing me with some of this information.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is There DNA Evidence?

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

Blogger Dewayneinsd brought up some good points about there being the possibilty of DNA evidence found in the SUV that Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes rented for their "camping trip" to Pennsylvania. After reading his comments... a light ball went off in my head:

First is that the Fox Ridge Inn would be considered a motor inn... there is no lobby to walk through when going to or from your room. You simply park outside your door... as evidenced here in this Google satellite picture:

Fox Ridge Inn

Chances are no one will ever see you coming or going, especially at night.

Search Warrant Affidavit

The second thing that's puzzled me for a while now, was the seizure of insulation from Cuadra and Kerekes' house during the executed search warrant on 02/10/07... it's starting to make a little more sense. Could it be that upon returning from PA, Harlow and Joe placed some bloody items in the attic? If you think about it, what better place to store or hide things you don't want seen or discovered? What other purpose would there be for seizing such an odd item.

If investigators did in fact find Bryan Kocis' DNA in the SUV and/or the 1028 Stratem Court attic... both Harlow and Joe certainly have a tremendous amount of additional explaining to do.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yesterday's Hearing in Review

Harlow Cuadra

From the Citizen's Voice: Luzerne County prosecutors may have to place the murder weapon in the hand of one of two Virginia Beach men they say committed the cold-blooded murder of Bryan Kocis.

Harlow Raymond Cuadra and Joseph Manuel Kerekes are charged with conspiring to kill Kocis — their rival in the gay pornography business — then torching his Dallas Township home to destroy evidence. Kocis’ body was found in January on a couch in his Midland Drive home, but prosecutors have not identified who they believe slashed and stabbed the 44-year-old.

Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas’ decision to seek the death penalty against both Cuadra, 26, and Kerekes, 33, could force his office to distinguish who is the killer, Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. hinted during a Friday morning status conference in the case.

Rulings in previous cases suggest prosecutors can seek the death penalty against the principal of a murder, not an accomplice.

Evidence, including wire tapped conversations, suggest both Cuadra and Kerekes may have stabbed Kocis, argued Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick.

“The only two people who know what happened in that room of that home are Mr. Kerekes and Mr. Cuadra,” Melnick said.

The issue arose after Kerekes’ attorneys Mark Bufalino, Shelley Centini and John Pike filed a motion to compel prosecutors to outline their theory of the crime, specifically if their client is the alleged attacker or accomplice. Lawyers for both sides will have to file additional briefs on the issue, which will be discussed Jan. 30 — the next status conference in the case.

Other issues discussed Friday include:

Olszewski heard arguments about whether the Luzerne County public defender’s office should continue to represent Cuadra. First Assistant Public Defender Al Flora Jr. represented Kocis on a previous matter in 2001 and also represents his family in estate matters. Cuadra’s attorney Bill Ruzzo said Flora’s expected testimony could force him to challenge the credibility of his boss.

The district attorney’s office is asking for conflict counsel to replace the public defenders’ office because a similar issue almost caused a mistrial in the William Rohland death penalty case earlier this year.

Olszewski is concerned new counsel could delay the case further. The judge plans to rule on the issue in the future.

Ruzzo is asking for Cuadra to be transferred from the Lackawanna County prison to Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where Kerekes is being held. Cuadra’s confinement status is making it more difficult to prepare his defense, Ruzzo said.

Olszewski wants the district attorney’s office to explain what legal standing it has to determine where Cuadra should be jailed. Melnick argued Cuadra and Kerekes should be kept at separate facilities in the interest of justice. Olszewski wants both Melnick and Ruzzo to argue their position in briefs.

Due to almost 5,000 pages of discovery information in the case, Olszewski extended the deadline for pre-trial motions in the case until Jan. 31.

Joseph Kerekes

The Times Leader reports: Attorneys for homicide suspect Joseph Kerekes might be able to challenge the prosecution’s intention to seek the death penalty for their client.

Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra are facing homicide and other charges in the death of Bryan Kocis in Dallas Township. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both suspects.

But at a pre-trial conference Friday for both men, a Kerekes attorney, Mark Bufalino, said he needs prosecutors to indicate whether they believe Kerekes was the principal killer, accomplice, or co-conspirator.

The issue, Bufalino said, is that he believes prosecutors can only seek the death penalty for a principal killer.

If prosecutors do not believe Kerekes is the principal killer, Bufalino could ask that prosecutors be prohibited from seeking the death penalty for Kerekes.

“We need to know what the Commonwealth is alleging,” Bufalino said.

Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Mike Melnick said evidence in the case “fully suggests” both suspects could be principals in the case.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. told the parties to file legal briefs outlining their arguments.

Then he will decide what should be done after a Jan. 30 hearing.

Cuadra, 26, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, are charged with homicide in the Jan. 24 slaying of Kocis, a gay porn producer. Investigators claim the two Virginia men killed Kocis, their rival in the gay porn industry, inside his home and then set the house on fire.

Kocis, 44, was found dead by firefighters.

The parties went before Olszewski on Friday to address numerous requests already made in the case, including one request by prosecutors to have public defenders removed from defending Cuadra.

Assistant District Attorney Tim Doherty said a conflict of interest exists with public defenders representing Cuadra because the first assistant public defender, Al Flora, previously represented the victim in the case.

That means Flora might be called as a witness at the homicide trial.

Olszewski will issue a ruling on that request.

He will also be issuing rulings on whether prosecutors can amend the wording in criminal conspiracy to commit arson charges filed against the men; whether Cuadra should be moved from the Lackawanna County Prison to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility; and whether Kerekes’ charges should stand.

Bufalino and Kerekes’ other attorneys, Shelley Centini and John Pike, said prosecutors did not present enough evidence at a preliminary hearing to take Kerekes to trial. They want the homicide and other charges dismissed.

The judge on Friday gave the parties additional time to file other pre-trial motions. That must be done by Jan. 31.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Harlow & Joe's Status Conference

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

Update @ 4:35 pm - Kerekes' attorneys have filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, saying that the prosecutor did not present enough evidence at the preliminary hearing to take Kerekes to trial on all his charges, homicide included. The attorneys want all the charges tossed out and Kerekes released from prison.

It's essentially an appeal of the preliminary hearing ruling and commonly done in almost every homicide case in Luzerene County. This motion will be heard on 01/30/08, and though the chances of them winning are just about nil, it certainly still doesn't hurt to try.

Update @ 1:53 pm - The judge has extended the deadline for the defense to file pre-trial motions. The deadline is now 1-31-08.

Update: From a court-watcher (10:48 am) - "The hearing is over. There were NO rulings yet. But that could change by the end of the day."

----

The Times Leader is reporting that attorneys for homicide suspect Joseph Kerekes on Friday indicated they might be able to legally challenge the prosecution's intent to seek the death penalty for Kerekes.

Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra are facing homicide and other charges in the death of Bryan Kocis in Dallas Township.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both suspects.

At a pre-trial hearing Friday, a Kerekes attorney, Mark Bufalino, said he needed prosecutors to indicate whether they believe Kerekes was the principal killer, accomplice, or co-conspirator.

He needs to know that because he said prosecutors can only seek the death penalty for the principal killer.

If prosecutors do not believe Kerekes is the principal killer, Bufalino could ask that they be prohibited from seeking the death penalty for Kerekes.

Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Mike Melnick said evidence in the case points to both men being blamed as the principal killer.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. told Bufalino and Melnick to file legal briefs outlining their position on the issue.

A hearing on the issue is set for Jan. 30.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DA Responds to Motions Filed by Defense

The Luzerne County District Attorney's Office filed 5 motions today in response to previous motions filed by Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' attorneys:

12/20/2007 Motion to Amend the Information filed.
12/20/2007 Comm's Answer to Def's Motion for Continuance filed.
12/20/2007 Comm's Answer to Def Kerekes Motion to Compel Bill of Particulars filed.
12/20/2007 Comm's Brief In Opposition to Def Kerekes Motion for Bill of Particulars filed.
12/20/2007 Comm's Answer to Def's Motion for Extension of Time filed.

I'm still in the process of getting a little more information as to what exactly the motions/answers filed state... and will post this as soon as it's received.

Huge Price Reduction

Harlow and Joe's House

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' house at 1028 Stratem Court was originally listed for $679,000.00, a few weeks later the price was raised to $699,000.00, and now today... the asking price has just been reduced to $471,900.00 - talk about a fire-sale. That's less than what they owe on both mortgages.

Update 2:45 PM: I just noticed this little bit of added information in the comment section: "HOME SOLD AS IS CONTINGENT UPON BANK REMOVAL."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Ask Sean and Grant"?

Sean Lockhart, Harlow Cuadra and Grant Roy

While Harlow Cuadra was leaving the courthouse after he and Joseph Kereks' were formally arraigned on 10/05/07, Harlow was quoted as saying that the people responsible for Kocis's death are two other men involved in the gay porn industry.'"It's not right. I didn't kill him," Cuadra said. When asked who did Cuadra said, "Ask Shaun [sic.] and Grant."

Shortly there-after, a new post appears on Joseph Kerekes' blog that literally insinuates that Sean Lockhart and Grant Roy are going to be arrested and residing in Luzerne County Prison. Joe even suggested that they bring their own pillows ( the post has since been removed from his blog ).

Meanwhile the arrest affidavit informs us of the infamous e-mails forwarded from Harlow's myspace.com/harlowcuadra account (signed by Joe) in which one of them states: "you need to make some kind of contact with us before I tell them you hired us joe".

Personal Notes: Well it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to make an educated guess, that Harlow and Joe are currently trying to implicate Sean and Grant had some kind of involvement in the murder of Bryan Kocis. Heck, Grant even stated during the Las Vegas dinner that if something happened to Bryan... he and Sean would likely be the first suspects.

With the above being the case, why would Sean and Grant want to have any involvement with something that could potentially point to them first? It just doesn't make sense. However, what if Joe and Harlow thought that by killing Bryan, it would somehow force Sean and Grant to work with them. Perhaps Harow and Joe thought they could have some form of control. Joe's email to Grant stating that "you need to make some king of contact with us before I tell them you hired us joe"... certainly entertains the possibility.

I'm really not a fan of either side... but it appears to me that Harlow and Joe were trying anything they could to get Sean to work for them... and it's truly amazing what the thought of getting money can do. Meanwhile the same two folks Harlow and Joe thought they could manipulate, are now state witnesses... go figure.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Harlow Didn't Know?

Harlow Cuadra

Someone calling themselves a former escort that worked for Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes makes a statement on Elm's blog (scroll down towards the bottom) that it was Joe doing all of the financial mishaps, and 'poor' Harlow didn't have a clue.

Perhaps it's the so-called former escort that doesn't have a clue. It seems quite evident that Harlow knew he had credit, used it numerous times, and wasn't as out-of-the-loop as some might try to imply.

Was it not the arrest affidavit that stated the SUV Rental from Enterprise Leasing Company, was rented using Harlow's Discover card... unless Joe looks like Harlow, which he doesn't... there's no way Harlow didn't know that he owned a Discover card, since ID is required when renting a vehicle ( I can hear it now... maybe Joe had a fake ID... whatever ).

More pesky activity from Harlow's credit cards:

An investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police reviewed financial and credit card activity related to Caudra pursuant to this investigation. A check of Cuadra's Discover credit card acitivity showed a charge of $39.95 from the company USA People Search.

Accused Cuadra along with accused Kerekes entered the "Superior Pawn and Gun Shop", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va, and purchased a "Sigarms" model #FX1SG, lock blade folding knife with 30% serrated edge. Cuadra additionally purchased a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and ammunition, utilizing a Visa credit card issued to Harlow Cuadra. (last time I checked, you have to show ID when purchasing a gun)

Then we have all of the boasting Harlow did online ( Joe wasn't the only one ), acknowledging the purchase of several vehicles, and actually bragging about it:

"just got an srt10 ram!"

"got the new vette ....but kept the viper :)"

You can find more of Harlow's rants on cars here:

We also have this post from Harlow giving someone camcorder advice on 12-27-2006 (notice the boasting of cars owned in his sig, let alone another tell-tale sign):

... and my personal favorite: "got off drugs and living life better."

The list goes on, and on... I'd have to say that it's highly unlikely Harlow didn't know about his credit cards, cars, debt, etc... since he spent a lot of time boasting about it.

I personally find it hard to believe that Harlow was being used, and that he didn't know what was going on with their finances... I'll currently leave it at that.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Harlow & Joe's Trial Preparation

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

As was evident with the recent trip to Luzerne County last week by Sean Lockhart and Grant Roy... attorneys for the Pennsylvania DA, as well as counsel for Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes are all most certainly in 'preparation mode' for the upcoming trial.

What is the preparation process you might ask... it's obtaining the materials needed during the course of the investigation including; discovery, depositions, medical records, and more:

"The problem of assimilating all of this information and preparing for trial is like carving a statue out of a block of solid granite. A famous artist once said, "The statue was always there - all I did was remove the excess granite. " But trial preparation is not so simple because the raw material may not be there and it may be necessary to take additional depositions, conduct further investigation or serve additional written discovery. For this reason, serious trial preparation should take place at least six months before trial."

Here's a great link that breaks-down the entire suggested process:
http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Oct/1/129464.html

It should also be noted that this is a fairly generic process... it may not be the exact way the Bryan Kocis murder case is being handled. However, it will give you a good idea as to the things that are commonly done, and thus-far being followed-up by certain attorneys.

Friday, December 14, 2007

'Twas The Night Before Christmas In Jail

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the cells
The convicts were locked up
All madder than hell...

Except for the lifers
Kicked back in their bunks
Heads filled with visions
Of fat little punks...

When suddenly from the roof top
There arose such a roar
That the bulls thought it was
A riot for sure...

The goon squad ran in
And stood ready to hit
A big guard yelled out
Who started this shit...

It came from the roof top
Sniveled a snitch
It must be a breakout
Oh, son of a bitch...

They climbed to the roof
By way of the stairs
Found a fat little freak
In red underwear...

No, No yelled the dude
I bring you good cheer
Damn said the Captain
We found us a queer...

Alright mother fucker
Get your hands on the wall
They shook him down good
Asshole and all...

They beat him and threw him
Into the hole with a kick
Well so much for Christmas
They locked up St. Nick

Credit: http://people.cornell.edu/pages/bs16/Christmas/night_before_in_jail.txt

With everything that's been going on with Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes... figured some dry-humor would be fitting. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Are Sean and Grant Currently in PA?

While I still can't confirm this 100% yet... it would appear as if Sean Lockhart and Grant Roy are in Luzerne County this evening staying at a local Inn. As for the reason... it's currently unknown. Please check back later for more updates, as this is still a developing story.

Update 12/13/07 @ 10:49 AM: To the best of my knowledge, Sean and Grant were in PA to give depositions. I believe they are either on their way back to California, or will be very shortly.

Was There an Agreement?

Confidential informant #2 states that Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes both stated that there was some type of contractual problem with Corrigan, however a "verbal agreement" was made pursuant to the meeting.

Then Joe makes a reference to this 'agreement' in an e-mail sent to Grant Roy: "on 03/03/07, at a time registered at 1014 am, the following message was forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra" to Grant Roy; "hey grant its harlow so when we gonna start filming? U know we had an agreement Joe"

Joe goes on to say in several additional email communications with Grant: "you need to make some kind of contact with us before I tell them you hired us joe"; "and we all know what u said to us at the avn in vegas and we have it on tape recorder and out conversation a le Cirque is recorded as well dont fuck with us"; and finally "we are going to visit san diego this week or next and we need to meet we hope to see u soon"

On 04/18/07, Harlow posts a rather long comment on his blog about the Vegas trip... trust me, it's a lot of reading, but one thing you'll note that's lacking is any mention of their being an 'agreement' between Sean/Grant and Harlow/Joe:

"My friends and mostly Mom thought it would be a good idea to go about this particular blog entry in a question answer format. Here it goes: How I ended up in the middle of it all. So who contacted who first? Why offer Brent so much cash? Sometime around mid 2006 Someone at LSG Media, sent an email to my Men4RentNow.com escort add. It was basically an application “for your chance to work with Brent Corrigan himself @ brentcorriganonline.com”. it was extremely pretentious so I ignored it. At the time I had no clue who Brent Corrigan was. Weeks later we started getting guys lined up for a big movie project, that required lots of guys. I used mostly myspace to do my scouting. While looking at a possible candidates friends list I spotted a familiar face. I couldn't exactly remember where I saw this face before. I sent it a private message with my recruiting for porn spam. To my surprise he emailed right back with an extremely bitchy response “I will no longer be used by the studios” blah blah blah. It was a boring day so I decided to fuck with him online and see what he said. Basically I responded back with something like “tell me your terms and we will work something out“. not to my surprise more bitchy comments followed. Brent eventually calmed down and basically wanted residual income along with other benefits. Keep in mind that I had no clue who Brent Corrigan was. Here is this bratty kid telling me that he wants half. After some research(alexa ranking, blog popularity), I consulted with my powers that be. I myspaced him the figure of 10k, he was appalled. Fine I went up to 30k(things then got serious). Brent still hinted at residual income. But I simply responded that if he got any money upfront there would be NO residual! Our only reason behind offering him the lump sum is that I did not want to deal with paper work, related with residual, and to minimize the drama. From that point on mark took over negotiations, and everyone settled on a full collaboration filming complex, that I will just spare you guys those little details. ok How was the Vegas meeting brought up? The Vegas meeting was something that came up completely out of the Blue. The night before AVN , Brent came online(aim) stoked about his trip to Vegas. “I am surprised your not going Harlow” Brent said and how it was all a big industry party or something like that. Keep in mind that I had just returned from the SEMA show, so I wasn’t exactly gung ho about going right back.

Brent asked if I could meet him there ”ill show you around”. I told him that I would if he would have dinner with me. Figured that if I could include some type of business matter into it, Mark would be a willing sponsor of the trip(It helped that he wanted to see the blue man group).


Brent agreed and off to sin city we went. What happened in Vegas? We arrived with barely enough time to get dressed and make it over to le cirque, although Mark insisted on stopping by one of the bars in the Bellagio(they lacked scotch aboard the plane). After some good Macallan 28, it was dinner time. What happened next is not really worth writing about. The short and sweet version; we got drunk-barely ate anything-didn’t even have dessert (all my friends know I love dessert). Brent got up to take a piss about nine times.Couple laughs here and there. O I broke 2 crystal champaigne glasses toasting Grant that cost an extra 300 bucks on the bill :-/. We all then decided to leave before they kicked us out. Once out side I had mark take some pics of us mostly for use on myspace. Brent invited us to go clubbing, but due to so much booze and jet lag we declined. The next morning Brent and I exchanged many text messages, basically he was all alone in his hotel room and needed the plunder of the stud wonder. Unfortunately a hairy Ex marine, made his way into my room at 5am and had affectively pilfered through all my loads. What was your first impression of Brent Corrigan?Brent’s cute no doubt about that. Total talk time over the phone most likely added up to 30min. A few text messages here and some emails there. The best three words to describe him would be complicated little shit. What happened after Vegas? Communication after Vegas was few. Brent was busy filming things for his own site but as far as we knew it was all set for the GAYVN, in San Francisco. Where do you stand with Brent Corrigan and Grant Roy? Not sure. I can barely remember the last time we had any communication. Grant turned into Howard Hughes and Brent is as elusive as a unicorn. Plus if all the stuff on the blogs is true about there new company woes , then it may be a looong time before I ever hear back. Would you still film with LSG? That’s a tough one. Everyone will scream conspiracy or something if we where even seen in a room together. Lets wait for some time to go by and we shall see."

... and now returning to the affidavit, Grant Roy states: "that he and Lockhart subsequently met with Cuadra and Kerekes (aka Trent) for dinner at "Le Cirque", restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel. The foursome discussed conducting business at some point and possibly "trading (pornographic) scenes". Roy advised that LSG could not embark in such an endeavor at that time as they were embroiled in pending litigation with Cobra Video, and more specifically, Bryan Kocis. Cuadra then asked questions such as; "what if Bryan left the country, and what if he went to Canada". Roy stated that Lockhart "had a few drinks in him and didn't understand what Harlow was talking about", and stated; "then he'd only come back". Kerekes then stated that "Harlow knows someone who would do anything for him". Roy stated that as he looked at Harlow, Roy knew that Harlow was talking about killing the victim. Roy then stated to Cuadra that they (Roy and Lockhart) didn't need Kocis to leave the country, and the conversation was switched to another subject."

... again... no mention of a verbal agreement.

Was there really a verbal agreement made, or was this a figment of Joe's imagination? Who told confidential informant #2 that there was a verbal agreement? If Harlow and Joe do have the conversation in Vegas recorded... where is it? If there was an agreement, why wasn't it mentioned during the infamous Blacks Beach jaunt? And finally, what was the agreement?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Those Pesky Informants...

Justin Hensley

I originally wrote about this subject back in July, and since that time we've learned a lot more about the evidence the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has against Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes.

After re-reading what both informants stated in the affidavit, it would appear to make even more sense now... especially since we now know that one of them is Justin Hensley... a former model and escort with boybatter.com and Norfolk Male Escorts.

It should also be noted how both informants state that Harlow and Joe were 'excited' about making a "large sum of money":

Confidential Informant #1

"On 02/10/07, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Virginia Beach Police Department interviewed Confidential Informant #1. Said informant has been associated with accused Cuadra as well as Kerekes for approx eight months. Said informant has worked with the Virginia Beach Police Department in the past, and has proven to be a reliable source of information. Additionally, said informant provided known factual information to Cpl. Hannon which was independently corroborated by sources not associated with said informant. Said informant advised that the day prior to the "Las Vegas trip" of Cuadra/Kerekes, or approx the middle of January, 2007, Cuadra/Kerekes advised that they "planning something big" and were attempting to hire "Brent Corrigan" for a movie. Both Cuadra and Kerekes were expecting to make "a ton of money" pursuant to said agreement, somewhere around "six to seven figures". They were planning to pay Corrigan around fifty thousand dollars for four scenes. Cuadra and Kerekes both stated that Corrigan was somehow contractually obligated to Cobra Video/Bryan Kocis, to which Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they were attempting to make a deal with Corrigan without it costing any money to Kocis. Cuadra and Kerekes were additionally in direct competition with Cobra Video/Bryan Kocis, although both stated that they had never met Kocis before. Informant also stated that Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they were planning on traveling to Pennsylvania at some point around the time of the Las Vegas trip, although the informant could not recall if it was prior to or after the trip. The informant also added that both Cuadra and Kerekes have been acting "very suspicious and unusual" since their return from Las Vegas. Both are normally rather "flashy" and flamboyant, enjoying exotic vehicles, extravagant dinners, and making contacts for their escort business and pornographic video business."

"Both Cuadra and Kerekes collect expensive Rolex watches as well, and own approx five or six. It should be noted that none were found within the residence subsequent to the search same date."

Confidential Informant #2

"On 03/21/07, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police and Virginia Beach Police Department interviewed Confidential Informant #2. Said informant has been proven reliable in that information relayed to Cpl. Hannon has been independently corroborated through means not associated with said informant. Said informant has been associated with both Cuadra and Kerekes since approx April of 2005. Informant #2 illustrated, as did informant #1, the male escort and homosexual pornography business of both Cuadra and Kerekes. Additionally, informant #2 advised that both Cuadra and Kerekes were at "the avn" awards within the past several months, and returned to advise that they planned a collaboration with "Brent Corrigan", which could potentially make a very large sum of money. Both additionally stated that there was some type of contractual problem with Corrigan, however a "verbal agreement" was made pursuant to the meeting."

Monday, December 10, 2007

So What are the Odds?

District Attorney David Lupas

I was curious to what the track record's been for the Luzerne County DA's office winning murder convicitons for this year, and last. I was quite surprised to see that every trial for 2007 & 2006 ended with the defendent either pleading, or being found guilty by a jury... with the exception of one:

12/06 Louis Patrick: found guilty of first-degree murder
11/21 Charles “Chip” Leach: pleads guilty to third-degree murder
10/27 Jeffrey Dennis : found guilty of first-degree murder
09/22 William Rohland: found guilty of first-degree murder
08/21 Brandon Scott Dennison: pleads guilty to third-degree murder
06/13 Samuel Wright: pleads guilty to to first-degree murder

... and the list goes on... that is until Hugo Selenski was found not guilty of homicide by a jury back on March 15, 2006. Interestingly, Selenski's attorney was the same one Joseph Kerekes is said to be talking about hiring: Demetrius Fannick.

Meanwhile... William Ruzzo, who is currently co-representing Harlow Cuadra, hasn't won a murder case since John Joseph Michaels was found not guilty on January 28, 2005.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Upcoming Status Conference

With Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' status conference coming up on 12/21/07 @ 8:30 AM, I thought I'd compile a list of motions that have been filed by all sides... to which we should finally get some answers:

Motions filed by/for Joseph Kerekes:

Motion for Enlargement of Time (basically to extend the trial date)

Motion to Compel Comm's response to Def's Request/Bill of Particulars & Rule filed. (The defense basically wants to know why the Commonwealth Attorneys Office hasn't turned over all of the Bill of Particulars).

Motions filed by/for Harlow Cuadra:

Initial Pretrial Motions filed. (These are requests to have more time to file pre-trial motions and postpone the March trial date.)

Motions filed by/for the Commonwealth Attorneys Office:

Notice of Comm's Intention to Seek Evidence of Other Crimes of the Def under Rule 404b filed (the district attorney’s office wants to be able to tell jurors about Cuadra and Kerekes’ alleged attempts to provide false alibis to deflect blame in the case).

The prosecution also wants to be able to present evidence about Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes’ business dealings during their trial. “Specifically, the evidence of the defendants’ male escort and pornography business clearly shows and demonstrates that both defendants viewed Cobra Video, the company owned by the victim, as their main rival and their whole object was to form a plan to rub out Bryan Kocis and secure the services of Sean Lockhart, the star of Cobra Video.”

They also want to prevent Cuadra and Kerekes’ attorneys from telling jurors about Kocis’ 2001 arrest for having sex with a 15-year-old boy he met online.

And finally... the prosecutors want the judge to postpone all matters in the Kocis homicide case until attorneys from outside the public defender’s office are appointed to represent Harlow Cuadra.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Witness Round Up

Harlow and Joe

Both Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' attorneys have requested more time before trial, with one reason being that they need to speak with witnesses that are scattered around the globe.

I wanted to clarify a few things in regards to this, so that folks don't think there's something odd going on.

The way the system works is that these witnesses, whether they are for the guilt phase or penalty phase, need to be rounded up and interviewed before the start of trial. It goes to the rules of discovery. Both parties need to know what the witnesses would say if called to testify.

The penatly phase, if necessary, would start IMMEDIATELY after the guilt phase. It's not like the attorneys get to ask the judge for more time to track down the witnesses after a verdict.

That's why they need to be rounded up before trial; not because the attorneys think their clients will be guilty.

From what I've been told, it's been done that way in every capital murder case in Luzerne County for the past 9 years. Even those that never reached the penalty phase.

Rounding up these witnesses now has absolutely nothing to do with any confidence on the guilt phase.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Extension of Time Hearing on 12-21-07

Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. has filed an Order of Court for an Extension of Time Hearing on 12-21-07, this is also the same date as the Scheduling Conference. Harlow Cuadra's counsel filed motions yesterday asking for an extension of time (see story below), so we should have answer to that motion then.

Update 4:40 PM: The hearing for Harlow Cuadra to be appointed new counsel will be heard on 12-21-07 as well. Looks like the Judge is going to lump everything together. Should make for an interesting day to say the least.

Cuadra’s Lawyers Want Trial Delayed

Harlow Cuadra

The Times Leader is reporting that attorneys for homicide suspect Harlow Cuadra want his trial postponed.

The attorneys, William Ruzzo and John Donovan, are members of the Luzerne County Public Defender’s Office. They said they need more time to prepare.

They also want more time to file pre-trial motions.

The attorneys made the requests in court papers filed Monday.

They said they are waiting to receive additional paperwork from prosecutors and an electronic reproduction of more than six hours of taped conversation involving Cuadra. They need to review those items before preparing the motions, they said.

The attorneys also want the trial, set to begin in late March, moved in order for them to track down witnesses.

Cuadra was “honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy” and had served at several military bases. His family, along with people he served with in the Navy, are “scattered throughout the world” and the attorneys need to interview them.

That, they said, will take longer than four months. They also said the Public Defender’s Office is understaffed.
----
The Citizens Voice adds... accused killer Harlow Raymond Cuadra has family scattered across the country and even some outside the country that attorneys need to interview.

Sailors and Marines whom Cuadra befriended before being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy also have to be found and questioned as part of a life history. The analysis of Cuadra’s life is needed should the 26-year-old be convicted of first-degree murder and face the death penalty. Jurors will hear about Cuadra’s life if they must determine whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Those interviews of family and friends, coupled with other trial preparation that must be completed by a limited staff, were included in a motion filed Monday by the Luzerne County Public Defenders’ office asking to delay Cuadra’s trial. Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. scheduled the trial to begin March 24, 2008.

Cuadra and his alleged accomplice, Joseph Manuel Kerekes, are accused of slashing and stabbing Bryan Kocis in his Dallas Township home in January. The Virginia Beach men also are charged with torching the 44-year-old’s Midland Drive home to destroy evidence.

Cuadra’s public defenders John Donovan and William Ruzzo also argue the deadline for pre-trial motions in the case should be extended. Donovan and Ruzzo have received 614 pages of information and expect to receive 2,000 more.

Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas’ office also has concerned the public defenders’ office about their ability to be ready for trial because of six hours of Cuadra’s conversations recorded as part of authorities’ investigation. Those tapes are expected to be used as evidence.

Cuadra and Kerekes, who are business and romantic partners, allegedly killed Kocis to eliminate the man they considered their main rival in the gay pornography business. Kocis owned Cobra Video and the rights to actor Sean Lockhart, whom Cuadra and Kerekes were trying to lure to launch their start-up gay pornography business.

The audio-taped conversations include Lockhart and Cuadra talking about Kocis on a nude beach in San Diego, according to arrest papers. Those recordings contain “discussions concerning the planning, execution and subsequent destruction of evidence,” police said.

The other defendant in the case also believes a delay is needed. Kerekes is currently represented by court-appointed county conflict counsel Mark Bufalino, Shelly Centini and John Pike.

“We are taking the same position that the trial needs to pushed back,” Pike said Monday. “There is a tremendous amount of documents to review and it will take a significant amount of time to prepare for this case.”

Olszewski has scheduled a Dec. 21 hearing in the case. The judge will hear arguments from Kerekes’ attorneys and the district attorney’s office about whether prosecutors have to provide a bill of particulars. If legally required, the district attorney’s office may be forced to place the knife in either Cuadra or Kerekes’ hands.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cuadra's Docket Updates

Well it isn't a ruling on the conflict counsel motion, but at least something's finally happening on Harlow Cuadra's side:

12/03/2007: Initial Pretrial Motions filed by Cometa, Thomas S.

Update (5:53 PM): The motions filed are a request to have more time to file pre-trial motions and to postpone the March trial date.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Harlow Cuadra and the Mystery Counsel

Most of you will recall that on Wednesday, November 21... Luzerne County prosecutors filed a motion stating that a conflict of interest existed with the public defenders office representing Harlow Cuadra.

Though I'm not sure which judge will actually rule on this motion (it wouldn't surprise me if it's Olszewski), it is expected that we'll get an answer to the prosecution's request sometime this week. One of three things will wind up likely happening... the judge will either:

1. Deny the motion
2. Approve the motion, and appoint conflict counsel
3. Order a hearing

While any of the above is certainly a possible outcome... if I were to take a guess, it'll either be option 2 or 3. Either way, we should hear something this week.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Does The Camera Lie?

Sony DCR-VX2000

Two video cameras were found missing from Bryan Kocis' house after his murder, meanwhile the same two brands and models of cameras were also found in Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' house. Here's a copy of the affidavit regarding the matter, with my personal observations and thoughts following.

Since the camera topic seems to surface from time to time, I thought it would only be fitting to discuss it:

"On 02/10/07, the Virginia Beach Police Department, in conjunction with investigators from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, executed a search warrant at the residence of Cuadra and Kerekes, that being 1028 Stratem Court, Virginia Beach, Virginia, in pursuit of the furtherance of this investigation. As a result of said search, numerous items of evidence were seized, inclusive of items previously illustrated herein. Additionally, two Sony digital video cameras, model numbers DCR-VX2000 and HDR-FX1, respectfully, were seized it was observed that both cameras had serial numbers forcibly removed and obliterated. Based upon the observance of said items, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police contacted the victim's associate Robert Wagner, who had in the past assisted the victim with video production. Wagner stated that he had, within the six months prior to the victim's death, observed said cameras within the victim's residence. It should be noted that both cameras were conspicuously absent during the intensive search of the victim's residence. Additionally, investigators contacted J&R electronics store, located in New York, NY., which is a location the victim regularly purchased electronic items. According to a sales manager at that location, the victim did purchase a Sony HDR-FX1 camera on 12/23/05.

Investigators conducting intelligence research relative to this investigation located a message board area titled; "The Digital Video Information Network", with an associated web address of; www.dvinfo.net. Said website is designed for individuals to read and post questions/solutions to various types of digital video inquiries. Anyone may read posts at said site however in order to post a message a user must have an account already created.

On 01/29/07, user Harlow Cuadra posted an inquiry related to the use of video camera HVR-ZI/HDR-FX1. Said camera is the same model which was found to be removed from the victim's residence at or around the time of his death. It is also the same model camera which was seized from the accused's' residence pursuant to a search warrant on 02/10/07. Said camera had all serial numbers forcibly obliterated from same.

Investigators contacted the Administrative contact for DV Info Net and requested subscriber information related to those postings. The subscriber DV Info has registered is Harlow Cuadra of Norfolk, Va., with an email account of harlowcuadra@excite.com with the signature of "boys do what they can...men do what they want". Eleven posting IP addresses were also provided, one being 70.174.54.38 which is the static IP address assigned by Cox Communications Inc., to Cuadra of 1028 Stratem Ct., Virginia Beach, Va."

My own thoughts:

Harlow states in his DVI message: "i just got it but do not understand the manual to well :(" ... this would sound like Cuadra just got the camera. Bryan was murdered 5 days earlier... bad timing to make a purchase?

Harlow also stated that he had the manual, so they must have bought it right? Not necessarily... the manuals for both cameras can easily be downloaded in .pdf format online here and here.

"it was observed that both cameras had serial numbers forcibly removed and obliterated" ... assuming Harlow and Joe did in fact purchase theses cameras, where would one buy cameras that have had their serial number removed? Even a pawn shop won't sell items like that. Ebay perhaps? Or maybe they removed them after they bought them... but why?

During the search warrant, receipts were also seized - assuming Harlow and Joe had receipts for the purchase of these two cameras, then there's certainly a reasonable doubt to these being Bryan's. If Harlow and Joe didn't have receipts of purchase (which would be very odd since both cameras would be considered a tax deduction as business equipment), then I guess it'll be up to a jury to decide.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Docket Updates for Joseph Kerekes

There are several updates to Joseph Kerekes' docket today... and they're listed as follows:

  1. 11/29/2007 Motion for Enlargement of Time & order filed.Hearing on 12-21-07 Olszewski, Peter Paul Jr.

  2. 11/29/2007 Motion to Compel Comm's response to Def's Request/Bill of Particulars & Rule filed. Hearing 12-21-07 Olszewski, Peter Paul Jr.

  3. 11/29/2007 Brief In Support of Def's Motion to Compel Comm's Response to Bill of Particulars filed. Nocito, Frank William
So far... nothing new for Harlow Cuadra.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did Joe Know What He Was Doing?

With most of the currently known evidence pointing more towards Harlow Cuadra:

  • An IP address associated with the dmbottompa@yahoo.com email address is 70.174.54.38, the results of a supoena indicate the account and subscriber information as Harlow R. Cuadra of 1028 Stratem Ct, Virginia Beach, VA and matching the IP logs for the account.

  • The myspace activity for these IP addresses are associated with Cuadra's Sprint PCS mobile air card and match the IP logs associated with the dmbottompa yahoo email account. The next logon for Cuadra's myspace account occured on January 25, 2007 7:50:32 AM PST with associated IP address 70.174.54.38 which is associated with Caudra's residence at 1028 Stratem Ct, Virginia Beach Va.

  • An investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police reviewed financial and credit card activity related to Caudra pursuant to this investigation. A check of Cuadra's Discover credit card acitivity showed a charge of $39.95 from the company USA People Search. The company indicated that on January 20th, 2007 a background check report was purchased for information related to the victim, Bryan C. Kocis.

  • On 01/29/07, user Harlow Cuadra posted an inquiry related to the use of video camera HVR-ZI/HDR-FXI. Said camera is the same model which was found to be removed from the victim's residence at or around the time of his death. It is also the same model camera which was seized from the accuseds' residence pursuant to search warrant on 02/10/07. Said camera had all serial numbers forcibly obliterated from same.

  • While working with the Virginia Beach Police Department, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police learned that on the morning of 01/25/07, Officer Brent Riddick, Virginia Beach Police, obtained the registration number for a silver/grey Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle with dark trim and three brake lights. Said registration came back to "Enterprise Leasing Company", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va.. Further investigation revealed that said vehicle was rented by accused Cuadra on 01/23/07 at approx 0940hrs. The vehicle was rented in the name of Harlow R. Cuadra, to which Cuadra's driver's license was afforded subsequent to the rental agreement. Cuadra's Virginia driver number was also recorded upon the rental agreement, as was Cuadra's signature. Rental vehicle was paid for by Discover Card issued to Harlow R. Cuadra, Norfolk Male Escorts, Inc.

  • Further investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police in conjunction with the Virginia Beach Police Department revealed that on 01/23/07 at approx 0944 hrs., accused Cuadra along with accused Kerekes entered the "Superior Pawn and Gun Shop", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va, and purchased a "Sigarms" model #FX1SG, lock blade folding knife with 30% serrated edge. Cuadra additionally purchased a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and ammunition, utilizing a Visa credit card issued to Harlow Cuadra. Cuadra was observed exiting said location carrying a bag containing the knife as well as ammunition for the firearm.

  • Then we have the 4 emails sent to Grant Roy, several signed by Joe, but all forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra"

  • Harlow Cuadra seems to do most of the talking during the Black's Beach tapes, while Kerekes appears to be more in 'third person'.

  • Joe states in his infamous jailhouse interview with the Times Leader that Harlow Cuadra had in fact gone to Bryan Kocis' house and saw a dead body, but that he (Joe) stayed back at the motel doing emails.

... and with the exception of Joe using his I.D. to check-in at the Fox Ridge Inn, and being present at the gun shop... you'd almost have to wonder if Joe had any involvement at all. Now I'm certainly not saying that's the case, but it sure is interesting to see how much Harlow is mentioned in the affidavit and evidence, yet how little there is in regards to Joe.

Makes you wonder if Joe knew what he was doing to ensure that if they got caught... it would be Harlow that took the fall.

Kerekes May Hire Fannick as Legal Counsel

Joseph Kerekes

The Citizens Voice is reporting that Attorney Demetrius Fannick has been contacted by accused killer Joseph Kerekes about representing him during his upcoming trial.

Fannick is the last attorney in Luzerne County whose client beat a criminal homicide charge and the possibility of lethal injection. Fannick convinced a Luzerne County jury in March 2006 there was enough reasonable doubt to clear Hugo Selenski of the murders of two men.

The Kerekes case reminds him of the Selenski case, Fannick said Tuesday. There is one major difference — Fannick will not represent Kerekes for free as he did with Selenski. Fannick would not say how much money Kerekes would need to retain his services.

“I certainly would like to get involved in Mr. Kerekes’ case,” Fannick said. “I believe it’s very defendable. But I can’t do anything until I’m retained.”

Demetrius Fannick

Fannick briefly discussed the case with Kerekes during a recent visit at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, but did not delve into details of the case because Kerekes is represented by county court-appointed conflict counsel Mark Bufalino, Shelley Centini and John Pike. Should Kerekes raise enough money to hire private counsel, Fannick could get the job.

“There are certainly limitations on my conversation with him,” Fannick said. “I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I don’t want to in any way interfere with Mr. Kerekes’ representation unless I am retained.”

Fannick believes Kerekes’ family is attempting to raise money for his defense, but is unsure where their effort stands. Kerekes’ parents, Fred and Rosalie, sold a property in the Virginia Beach area for $229,000 in July. A phone number for Fred and Rosalie Kerekes has been disconnected and they could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

There also are active Web sites soliciting funds for Kerekes and Cuadra. Cuadra is currently represented by the Luzerne County public defenders’ office, but District Attorney David Lupas’ office is asking a judge to remove the public defender’s office as Cuadra’s attorneys because of a conflict of interest.

Fannick said representatives of Lupas’ office contacted him to inquire about whether he would be representing Kerekes. No one from Lupas’ office could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Huge Development for Joseph Kerekes?

Joseph Kerekes

Accused murder suspect Joseph Kerekes has apparently been in talks with probably one of the best criminal defense lawyers available in Luzerne County about taking his case... and someone on Joe's side is actually willing to pay for it.

Please Note: This is still a developing story... additional updates will be posted tomorrow.

...meanwhile... where does this leave co-defendent Harlow Cuadra in his apparent legal time of limbo?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Recordings Don't Lie... But Sometimes People Do

Harlow Cuadra and Sean Lockhart

Since the taped beach recordings of a 2 day conversation involving Harlow Cuadra, Joseph Kerekes, Grant Roy, and Sean Lockhart will be used as evidence in trial, I decided to review once again what was mentioned in the affidavit. It's pretty damning to say the least, and I'm including the entire text for those that haven't had access to the criminal affidavit:

On 04/27/07, an electronic intercept and surveillance was conducted by a task force consisting of members of the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, San Diego County District Attorney's Office, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office. The location of said intercept was within the area of La Jolla, San Diego, California. The subject of said intercept was conversations between Grant Roy, Sean Lockhart, Harlow Cuadra, and Joseph Kerekes concerning the homicide of victim Kocis. During said conversations, it was observed that Roy and Lockhart made statements regarding how their lives have been damaged by the murder of the victim, specifically regarding the business setbacks they have suffered. As a response, both Cuadra and Kerekes made apologetic statements for their hardship. The foursome additionally spoke of doing business, specifically the creation of pornographic film showing Cuadra and Lockhart. At one point in the conversation, Roy asked Cuadra/Kerekes if the victim "felt any pain". Both Cuadra and Kerekes became silent, at which time Cuadra leaned towards Lockhart, who was walking next to him and stated silently; "don't worry, he went quick". Cuadra and Kerekes then addressed Roy and Lockhart stating that if the foursome went to the nude beach the next day, Cuadra and Kerekes would answer any questions asked of them.

Harlow and Sean

On 04/28/07, another electronic intercept and surveillance was conducted by task force members from aforementioned agencies with the exception of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. The location of said intercept was within the area of Torry Pines Gliderport and beach area, aka Black's Beach, San Diego, Ca. The subject of said intercept was conversations between Grant Roy, Sean Lockhart, Harlow Cuadra, and Joseph Kerekes. During said conversations, Cuadra stated that he was present when the victim was murdered. Cuadra spoke of conversations the victim had with various individuals while Cuadra was present. Both Cuadra and Kerekes referenced the victim's records which were kept within his residence as being "gone". Both Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they viewed approx fifty five "master tapes" which were removed from the victim's residence, as well as business records. Cuadra and Kerekes subsequently destroyed said items, as they would be considered "proof". Cuadra then stated that illustrated items remained in his residence for approx two days. Cuadra added that he was going to afford a tape to Roy and Lockhart as a gift, but it was "too hot". Cuadra also referenced the victim's Rolex watch, and described the initials engraved on the back. Both Cuadra and Kerekes also referenced two computer towers and a laptop computer which were removed from the victim's residence, all of which was destroyed. Cuadra also illustrated how he and another "did some recon work", and described that the victim's front door didn't have a "peephole" in it, and further described it as "two square blocks of windows on top and Bryan's not tall enough to see through that". Cuadra continued; "it was quick; he never saw it coming". Cuadra also stated that while he was at the victim's residence, he heard the victim calling Lockhart a "little bitch" and the "product". Cuadra stated to Lockhart; "don't feel too bad". Kerekes added that the victim had a contract prepared for Cuadra at the time of Cuadra's arrival. Both Cuadra and Kerekes intimated that the victim was aware of Cuadra's real identity, and continued with the meeting nevertheless. Cuadra also stated that during his initial meeting with the victim, they were drinking wine, to which Kerekes stated that he believed that Cuadra "slipped (the victim) something" in his drink. At some point, the doorbell rang and the victim "was kind of stumbling, and uh, that was it". Cuadra and Kerekes both illustrated the interior of the victim's residence, specifically the victim's high-end, expensive home entertainment center. Cuadra and Kerekes also stated that the victim desired for Cuadra to "move in", and illustrated an upstairs bedroom as was found to be at the victim's residence. Cuadra then stated that he believed that the victim recogized him from the Internet, to which Cuadra became concerned. At that point, the victim picked up the phone and Cuadra's "dude" "came around", and "it was crazy". Cuadra then referenced insulting comments made by the victim towards Lockhart and Roy, the stated "... and it's what kind of made the whole decision kind of easy. Almost a little too easy... and I should of thought where all those fingers would have pointed, I remember lookin at the press... I'm just glad that shit's over". Cuadra later went on to say that "the cops put it (investigation) on the back burner". Cuadra additionally made the statement; "... actually seeing the fucker going down actually it's sick but it made me feel better inside. It almost felt like I got revenge and I know that sounds fucked up..." Cuadra and Kerekes then again illustrated a modeling contract which the victim had prepared for Cuadra to sign. Kerekes then interjected; "Harlow had all the little documents he (victim) told him to bring and he didn't even ask for them". Cuadra responded; "Oh no he didn't ask for my ID". Cuadra and Kerekes then stated that the victim expected that he and Cuadra were going to "have sex all night" without the victim paying Cuadra any money for same. It should be noted that conversation about other topics not related to the victim's death occured regularly intermixed with discussions concerning the planning, execution, and subsequent destruction of evidence related to the investigation.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

D.A.: Get Cuadra Outside Counsel

Harlow Cuadra

The Times Leader reports: Prosecutors say public defenders should not be representing homicide suspect Harlow Cuadra.

The Luzerne County prosecutors say a conflict of interest exists with public defenders representing Cuadra because two public defenders previously represented the victim in the case, and now those two public defenders might be called to testify at Cuadra’s homicide trial.

The prosecutors want a judge to postpone all matters in the homicide case until attorneys from outside the public defender’s office are appointed to represent him.

Public defenders had been representing Cuadra and Kerekes. But Kerekes was later appointed public attorneys from outside the public defender’s office.

That came after a public defender, attorney Jonathan Blum, made the request. Blum said a conflict existed with public defenders representing both men because the men, at trial, could accuse the other as the principal killer.

Also, Blum and attorney Al Flora Jr., the county’s first assistant public defender, had represented Kocis in the past and might be witnesses at the homicide trial.

But Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Ciavarella only appointed outside counsel to Kerekes.

The latest request to have attorneys from outside the public defender’s office represent Cuadra came this week by assistant district attorneys Mike Melnick, Tim Doherty, Shannon Crake and William Dunn.

They, too, said outside attorneys should be appointed to Cuadra because Blum and Flora represented Kocis in the past and are now potential witnesses in the homicide case.

Flora was interviewed by police in the homicide investigation and gave them information that was “relevant and material,” the prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say they want to ensure Cuadra “receives a fair and impartial trial.”

Ciavarella previously appointed attorneys John Pike, Mark Bufalino and Shelley Centini to defend Kerekes.

They are attorneys on the county payroll and not associated with the public defender’s office, and are provided to indigent defendants who have a conflict of interest with the public defenders.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Crossing Your T's and Dotting Your I's

Harlow and Joe

With previous motions being filed by the prosecution and defense requesting that Harlow Caudra and Joseph Kerekes be assigned conflict attorneys and not public defenders (Joe already won his motion)... some folks may be wondering what the heck is going on. In my hopes of making this a little more clear, I'll try to explain:

Attorneys Al Flora and Jonathan Blum previously represented Bryan Kocis, and might be called to testify at the Cuadra/Kerekes trial. The main concern here is that Flora and Blum had involvement in a previous Kocis case, and since Flora's the the second-in-command at the PD's office... there's no telling what influence his inside information may have on those under him. (Blum has since been removed from the case).

We also need to keep in mind that if there is a conviction for either defendant, it can certainly be overturned on appeal if an appellate court believes that Harlow Cuadra and/or Joseph Kerekes was not defended properly or legally. So it's understandable why both sides would want to address this issue now. There was also a situation very similar to this one that came up in a past death penalty case. It ended up being appealed before trial, and caused a long delay before the trial could even start.

The argument here isn't about the specific public defenders assigned to the case, but the fact that they are involved at all... especially since their boss (Flora) could potentially be called as a witness.

This is one of those rare events that both the prosecution and defense agree on the same outcome desired... so it'll be interesting to see what happens. I'm guessing this motion will likely go to Judge Olszewski to decide.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Harlow and Joe's Dockets Updated Today

Update 11/23/07 @ 12:27 PM: The Times Leader has picked up the story, and basically reiterates what was mentioned in the previous update, one bit of new information though is that "the prosecutors want a judge to postpone all matters in the homicide case until attorneys from outside the public defender’s office are appointed to represent him" [Cuadra].

Update 11/23/07: The motions filed by the DA this past Wednesday was for the following reason:


The DA says the public defenders should not represent Cuadra because of a conflict of interest. Attorneys Al Flora and Jonathan Blum previously represented Bryan Kocis and might be called to testify at the Cuadra/Kerekes trial. Flora and Blum are public defenders, creating a conflict of interest.

If you recall, the public defenders office previously presented this motion to Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. on 10/12/07.

---
Both Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' dockets have been updated today:

1. 11/21/2007 Comm's Motion to Disquaify PD's Office to Represent Def-Harlow Cuadra filed by Luzerne County District Attorney's Office

2. 11/21/2007 Comm's Brief In Support of Motion to Disqualify PD from Representation of Def-Harlow Cuadra filed by Luzerne County District Attorney's Office

I'm trying to find out exactly why these motions were filed, as I'd prefer to not speculate. Not sure I'll get an answer until Friday, but here's to keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harlow and Joe's Trial Open Thread...

Since things are likely to be awfully quiet this week in regards to any 'new' news... I'm going to leave it up to you the readers to decide what topics you'd like to discuss. As long as it's relevant to the Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' murder trial... by all means debate away.

If something newsworthy actually does occur this week, I'll be sure to post it immediately.

Have a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So Just Who is this Alibi/Witness Nep?

That's a question I've been asking myself for the past week. Who is Nepthali Cuerpo Malaki (aka Nep), and why would he risk his own freedom to 'save' Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes?

Since it's the weekend, and with nothing else better to do... I went looking:

Nepthali/Nathaneal has lived in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area most, if not all of his life. From Shelton Park Elementary in 1977, to attending Tidewater Tech in 1999.

He also seems to have had some trouble with finances... first starting with a judgement against his real estate on 12/17/02 for the small sum of $36.81 to Scotts Express Lube, Inc.:



Then Nep has a warrant in debt filed against him on 12/21/06 for $3,198.08, with the plaintiff being Ingram Auto Sales, a default judgement was granted on 4/13/07:



Apparently Nep chooses not to pay... so the court garnishes his wages on 04/23/07... while being employed at a local Norfolk, VA Wendy's. The garnishment is eventually satisfied on 8/31/07:



Maybe it's just me, but financial problems seem to be a recurring subject in this entire case. One has to wonder what Nep's motive really is in trying to help Harlow and Joe. Perhaps he truly is nothing more than a concerned friend... or just maybe there's something else motivating him.

Correction: I had initially reported that Nep was married, and then divorced. I've since discovered that it was actually a brother of his, and not Nep. So that reference has now been removed, and I regret the error.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Harlow Cuadra's 'Witness' Responds...

I received an email yesterday morning from Nepthali Cuerpo Malaki of Virginia Beach, VA responding to a post I did a few days ago in regards to the DA accusing a witness, or witnesses of lying about Harlow's whereabouts the infamous night Bryan Kocis was brutally murdered:

"Hi,

I just sawmy picture on the net postedyes my name is Nep I know Harlow cuadra for six years I was with Harlow on Jan 24, 2007around the day time hours one thing I want to clarify is when I talked with Harlow that dayI asked him what is he going to do the rest of the day? one thing I noticed a silver vehicle parkedi aske him did you buy this vehicle no he said he rented it because he was going to drive town as i could remember he said camping trip. yes I have chatted with Jody Wheeler cause I read a article about Harlow being question about the murder in pa. one thing I want to say is when this happened to Harlow Ihave been there for him 100 percent and supported him and I will continued to do so as I promise him and his family."

Now what makes this whole thing so strange is that a source tells me that Nep contaced them about being an "alibi" too. They referred him to the district attorney's office. Apparently a detective spoke with him about his and Cuadra being together that night. Once the detective told Nep he could be arrested for providing false information to police, he recanted his story.

With that in mind, one can only wonder why Nep would continue to tell this same story, when Joseph Kerekes has already placed Harlow at Bryan's house the night of the murder. Somebody's lying, I just don't know who.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quick Update

Joseph Kerekes' court docket was updated today:

11/15/2007 Sealed Oder filed by Judge Olszewski IN SAFE

Unfortunately... since the order is sealed, we'll have to wait to see what it is.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Harlow Cuadra Responds to Out Magazine

In a letter to the Editor on page 26, Harlow Cuadra writes:

I want to thank Out for publishing the article on the death of Bryan C. Kocis, [October 2007, "The Case of the Cobra Killer"]. I would also like to thank Michael Joseph Gross, for putting it all together in an unbiased form. Joseph M. Kerekes and I were at our most vulnerable when the interviews (with Mr. Gross) for that article took place. Your writer could easily have exploited us for information or cast a darker cloud over us in order to make the story entertaining. He did neither. Mr. Gross was also sensitive and considerate when interviewing Joseph's elderly parents. He was a complete gentleman and an excellent ambassador for Out.

Your new Out reader 4 life,
Harlow R Cuadra
Scranton, PA

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Commentary: Thanksgiving in Jail...

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, I was interested in finding out if both Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes... (still in custody awaiting trial at the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Prisons for the brutal murder of Bryan Kocis)... would be celebrating their 'turkey day' with a traditional-style dinner. The answer seems to be yes.

Though Harlow and Joe won't be enjoying the holiday with friends and family... sources tell me that both men will likely be served a traditional course of turkey, stuffing/mush, mashed potatoes (real or powdered), canned green beans, canned cranberry sauce, and one dinner roll.

Certainly doesn't sound like a Charles Dickens' moment to me... but at least it's better than being faced with having to request your last meal... for now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Could This be Harlow's Alibi Witness?

Shortly after Harlow Cuadra became a suspect in the brutal murder of Bryan Kocis, his lover and business partner Joseph Kerekes (Mark) states to reporters that Harlow was 'working' in Virginia Beach the night Bryan was killed (The Times Leader reported on February 9, 2007 that Harlow said he was with a client for three hours). Harlow's previous attorney Barry Taylor even makes a statement after Harlow and Joe's arrest that "his client has an alibi, a reliable man who puts him in Virginia Beach at the time of the murder".

Is it possible that 42-year old Nepthali Cuerpo Malaki of Virginia Beach, VA is the witness/alibi in question:

aka... nep malaki:


aka... nep:


aka... internetguy134:


aka... pinoyguy165:


Nep (aka... pinoyguy145) also readily admits to being a client of Harlow's for 6 years in a chat with Jody Wheeler back in February:



Nep (and his aliases) has spent an unusual amount of time praising Harlow over the past 10 months... perhaps it's simply an infatuation with Harlow... another purpose... both... or just maybe this is one of the alibi witnesses the DA claims to have lied.

Guess we'll find out when the judge rules on the motions filed.