Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Late Updates

From the Citizens' Voice: "The commonwealth called 11 people to the stand Monday, some of them testifying to circumstantial evidence linking the accused men to the crime.

"Kocis’ father, Michael, testified Kocis was an intensely private person who would not have let anyone come to his home unexpectedly. Even he and his wife had to call ahead before visiting, Michael Kocis said.

"Flanked by state troopers and dressed in the green jumpsuit of the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, Kerekes smiled as he left court, sounding unconcerned.

"'I’m confident my lawyer and the evidence will vindicate us,' he said.

"Cuadra emerged minutes later wearing tan prison garbs because he is being housed apart from his alleged accomplice in Lackawanna County prison.

"He made no comment before disappearing into a police car.

"On Thursday, prosecutors will start by presenting evidence of e-mail communication Cuadra allegedly had with Kocis leading up to his murder.'We have a lot more interesting things to come,' lead prosecutor Michael Melnick said.

The latest Times Leader article on the hearing includes:

“Robert Wagner, who identified himself as Kocis’ best friend, testified that Kocis had e-mailed him pictures of a prospective new model for Cobra Video on Jan. 22. The picture was of Cuadra. Investigators suspect the photo was sent to Kocis under a fake name.

“’He told me he was meeting a new model at 7 p.m. on (Jan. 24),’ Wagner testified.

“Wagner described Kocis as a private person who wouldn’t answer his front door if someone unexpectedly stopped by. Wagner also testified that after Kocis died, he discovered two laptop computers, two computer towers, two camcorders and a Rolex watch were missing from the home.

“Investigators wouldn’t say if the missing computers or the watch were found during two searches at Cuadra’s and Kerekes’ Virginia Beach home.”

Also: “State police Deputy Fire Marshal Ron Jarocha said the fire began behind a leather loveseat in the living room. Jarocha also said two smoke alarms were detached from the ceilings inside the home.

“‘An open flame was used to ignite combustible material behind the couch,’ Jarocha said.

Apparently there was no talk of use of any accelerant in starting of the fire.

Update: A spectator at yesterday's hearing confirms that Jarocha testified that a knife was found on the floor next to Kocis' burnt body, but no evidence was introduced to identify whether or not that knife was the murder weapon.

Update II: One unidentified witness went to great lengths to remain anonymous to onlookers, entering the Magistrate's office through a side door with a plastic bag over his head.