Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prelim, Day Two

Grant Roy

Update: Times Leader (1:10 pm) - reports "Grant Roy first witness in Cuadra, Kerekes hearing."

Update: Citizens' Voice (12:39 pm) - is reporting "As Kerekes was led into the courtroom today, he told the media he would speak after the hearing. "I have something prepared to say on the way out," he said. Cuadra has yet to arrive in the courtroom.

"Prosecutors are expected to start today by presenting evidence of e-mail communication Cuadra allegedly had with Kocis leading up to his murder"

Update: Times Leader (12:39 pm) - reports "Security is heightened again for the hearing. Luzerne County sheriff deputies are using a hand-held metal detector searching people before they enter the courtroom, and Dallas and Kingston township police departments with a canine unit are monitoring the parking lot.

"A key witness from out-of-the area was observed walking into the building earlier.

"It remains unknown if assistant district attorneys Michael Melnick and Tim Doherty will play a recording of a conversation Cuadra and Kerekes allegedly had with Grant Roy and Sean Lockhart on a nude beach near San Diego, Ca., in late April."

WNEP TV-16 (12:02 pm) - Live Noon news reports the preliminary hearing began a few minutes ago. No new video as of yet, though.

Times Leader (8:21 am) - reports that "Luzerne County prosecutors will continue today to try to persuade a magisterial district judge that they have a strong case against two men charged in connection with the slaying of local gay film producer Bryan Kocis.

"A state police computer forensic investigator is one of several witnesses that prosecutors expect to call to the stand when the preliminary hearing for Harlow Cuadra, 26, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, resumes before District Judge James E. Tupper in Kingston Township.

"Cuadra’s co-defense lawyer, Thomas S. Cometa, aggressively questioned Jarocha for nearly an hour on Monday, getting Jarocha to admit that he didn’t take any samples from the hardwood floor in the living room.

"Cometa, in an unrelated case, was successful in defending a man who was accused of setting a fire that killed his parents in Berks County. Cometa used samples of hardwood flooring from the Berks County home that had traces of leaded gasoline, which was used at that time to clean hardwood floors after construction. A dropped cigarette caused the Berks County fatal fire, according to published reports.

"Kocis’ home was demolished last week. Cometa couldn’t be reached for comment to determine if any hardwood flooring from Kocis’ living room has been preserved.

"Jarocha said he found no evidence that Kocis was a smoker."