Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That Which Is Left Unsaid

Michael Melnick
Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick said it after Monday’s first go-round: “We have a lot more interesting things to come.”

By all accounts, the Commonwealth intends to present some of the more tech-heavy, Internet evidence in tomorrow’s extended preliminary hearing of accused killers Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes. And, no doubt, there will be other sorts of evidence exhibited, too.

But what’s been most interesting so far is-- while the DA’s office appears to be putting on quite a show for Magistrate Tupper-- the case as presented has been remarkably short on specifics.

For example, according to published reports and those of court-watchers:

-Of the nearly dozen witnesses, there hasn’t been a single cop on the stand. Among other things, that means no evidence presented of anything found pursuant to search warrants for Harlow’s and Joe’s house.

-There was no testimony about the purchase of the knife in Virginia Beach.

-Three witnesses spoke about the SUV in Dallas, but no one was there to link Harlow and Joe to its rental in Virginia Beach—or to testify to the mileage that indicates they drove it far enough to reach the Wyoming Valley.

-The SUV was alleged to have left the scene just a few minutes before the fire department arrived at the house. And when the firefighters did show up, flames were actually shooting out the front door. No word, however, on who called 911, and more to the point: when, and/or why? Because a neighbor saw smoke sometime around 8:15? We don’t know, because the State hasn’t told us.

-We still don’t know the name of “Confidential Informant #1” (re: p. 16, Affidavit of Probable Cause), the one who told police Cuadra and Kerekes were “planning something big,” and were taking a trip to Pennsylvania. (By his testimony, it appears that Justin Hainesly is known as CI #2 in that document. See P. 19.)

In all, the ADAs still have a-ways to go. We'll be watching, of course.

-Both PC and KM contributed to this story.