Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Silence of the Lawyers?

I've already alluded to this in yesterday's post, but wanted to discuss my personal thoughts a little further:

Harlow's attorneys have yet to file any motions for discovery, bill of particulars, etc., while Joe's counsel has already requested and won a motion for an extra 30 days to file... and they're currently going through the standard filing process.

Meanwhile... Harlow's defense appears to have missed the deadline for filing a request for the bill of particulars ( this must be done within 7 days from the formal arraignment ), and they have yet to file a motion for pretrial discovery. Is someone asleep at the wheel?

In regards to the rumors of a possible plea by Cuadra, I'll quote a response I received today from a reliable source that's familiar with the case:

"It actually would not surprise me at all. If you follow the affidavit, it kind of hinted the prosecution's theory of the crime was Kerekes allegedly did the stabbing, slashing, etc...

If that is what they're going for, they need somebody to put the knife in his hand. The only other person who was allegedly there is Cuadra

Would Harlow Cuadra actually abandoned boyfriend and co-defendant Joseph Kerekes to his own fate? Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the actual truth tells us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Joe's Docket Updated

Joseph Kerekes' court docket has been updated today with the following entries:

1. 10/29/2007 Def's request for Bill of particulars filed.
2. 10/29/2007 Def's Request for Bill of particulars under Rule 572 filed.
3. 10/29/2007 Certificate of Service

So far all of these filings are procedural matters done in every case. They really do not reveal anything. All it is is the defense asking for specific details, like the time of death, and such. It helps them prepare their pre-trial motions. Those often include more additional details of the case. It's interesting to note however that there hasn't been any activity filed on Harlow Cuadra's behalf since 10/18/07.

Note: This post originally reported that Harlow's docket had updated as well, and that was incorrect. I apologize for the error.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Silence of the Blogs

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

Two separate blogs have claimed to be the voice of Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes ... both have remained silent with no new posts for several weeks. Joe's blog hasn't updated since 10/05/07, while Harlow's hasn't been updated with his ' own words ' since 10/13/07.

Have both of their attorney's finally gotten the point across ... that remaining silent is the best thing Joe and Harlow could do?

Friday, October 26, 2007

No Sale for Harlow Cuadra...

Harlow Cuadra Jacket

With Harlow Cuadra trying to raise money, an Ebay auction was placed for a fur jacket purportedly owned by Harlow on 10/07/07. One bid was placed for $2500.00, but it didn't meet the reserve price when the auction closed.

Fast-forward to 10/18/07, and the same jacket was placed for auction again with the exact same description. Ending on 10/25/07 ... the auction received no bids.

Perhaps three times is a charm?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Docket Update for Joseph Kerekes

Joe's docket shows the following new entry today:

10/23/2007 (2) Sealed Orders filed by Judge Olszewski - IN SAFE

This is probably relative to defense funding/psych evaluation, which is commonly sealed in death penalty cases until the case is resolved.

The Evidence Presented Thus Far...

Ever since the 2-day preliminary hearing and scouring the original affidavit... I've worked on coming up with a comprehensive list of evidence being presented by the prosecution against Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes, in the brutal murder of Bryan Kocis. This should not be considered a complete list, as I'm sure I may have overlooked something, but at least it's all in one easier to follow format:

  1. SUV Rental from Enterprise Leasing Company, using Harlow's Discover card. The miles driven matching a round-trip drive from Virginia Beach to PA. [reference]
  2. Two cell-phones used to make calls near Bryan Kocis home right after the fire in Bryan's house was reported to 911, both phones registered to Joseph Kerekes. [reference]
  3. Hotel check-in... paid cash at the Fox Ridge Inn for two nights using Joe's drivers liscene, during the same time-period Kocis was killed. [reference]
  4. Yahoo e-mail account setup from Harlow & Joe's Internet connection to talk exclusively with Bryan Kocis. [reference]
  5. Harlow and Joe not present at the Big House Gym on 01/23,24,25/07. [reference]
  6. Harlow and Joe are seen on video purchasing a knife and gun at Superior Pawn & Gun Shop the same day they rented the SUV, and a day before going to PA. [reference]
  7. Both originally denied being in PA and knowing Kocis... only to have Joe state in a jailhouse interview that they where both in PA, with Harlow at the murder scene. [reference]
  8. Credit reports showing that Harlow and Joe were almost $1 million dollars in debt. [reference]
  9. Tape recordings from Blacks Beach in which Harlow is heard saying "it was quick; he never saw it coming"... Cuadra also states that while he was at Bryan's residence... [reference]
  10. Two video camera's found in Harlow and Joe's possession, with the serial numbers rubbed off - both of which matched the make/model of cameras missing from Kocis' house. [reference]
  11. Justin Hensley testified he once heard Cuadra and Kerekes describe Cobra Video - owned by Kocis - as their biggest competitor in the adult film industry. [reference]
  12. Records of a pre-paid cellular telephone purchased in Virginia Beach used to talk exclusivly with Bryan Kocis, during the time span of 01/22/07 through 01/24/07. [reference]
  13. Background check done on Kocis, 01/20/07 using Cuadra's Discover Card, and Internet account. [reference]
  14. Robert Wagner, Kocis’ friend and former business associate, testified to Kocis planning to meet with a new model the night of the murder. Wagner said Kocis e-mailed him pictures of the model, who appeared to be Cuadra but was identified as “Danny.” [reference]
  15. 3 eye-witnesses reported seeing a light-colored SUV either parked in Kocis' driveway, or backing out. Amy Zamerowski said she saw a light-colored SUV backing out of Kocis' driveway around 8:30 p.m. Firefighters arrived less than 10 minutes later, she said. [reference]
  16. Grant Roy, a fellow pornography producer, testified the two Virginia Beach men accused of killing the 44-year-old in January described the inside of Kocis' home and recounted details of how the murder transpired. But, Roy also testified that neither Cuadra nor Kerekes ever specifically admitted to committing the crime at 60 Midland Drive in Dallas Township, but referenced it in vague terms. [reference]
  17. On 01/29/07, user Harlow Cuadra posted an inquiry related to the use of video camera HVR-ZI/DHR-FX1. Said camera is the same model which was found to be removed from the victim's residence at or around the same time of his death. It is also the same model camera which was seized from the accuseds' residence pursuant to the search warrant on 02/10/07. Said camera had all serial numbers forcibly obliterated from same. Here's the post:
  18. Information regarding the victim's watch having been stolen or information regarding the ingestion of alcohol had not been reported to the public, yet the Defendants were aware of those pieces of evidence.
  19. Joseph Kerekes confesses to 3 different inmates that he was involved in the murder, along with Harlow Cuadra.
  20. Harlow sends a handwritten letter to Nep, coaching him on telling a story of how he was with Harlow the day of the murder.
  21. Harlow tries to recruit former escort client Howard Mitchell Hallford to lie and act as an alibi witness.
  22. Joseph Kerekes talks to Renee Martin over the phone about "Plan B"... yet another possible alibi for the murder.
  23. Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes discuss "Plan B" during a jailhouse 3-way with Renee.
  24. Harlow Cuadra blurts the following statement during his transport to Pennsylvania: “I remember this. It’s a long tunnel”.
  25. While they were commencing this trip in Virginia Beach, Kerekes asked Cpl. Hannon why they “weren’t taking the Route 264 West route” as he had taken that route prior to when he had made trips to Pennsylvania.
  26. Harlow and Joe purchase a second knife at a Wal-Mart in PA on the day of the murder.

Potential evidence that we still don't know the status of:

  • The knife found by Kocis' body.
  • Some of the items seized during the search warrant served at Harlow and Joe's Virginia Beach house.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Next Hearing (12/21/07)

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

The next hearing is the pre-trial conference ... also known as the scheduling or status conference. Generally what will happen is both Harlow Cuadra & Joseph Kerekes along with their defense lawyers and the assistant district attorney... will appear before Judge Peter Olszewski and the course of disposition will be determined. All other pre-trial matters should also be resolved at the pre-trial conference, including what evidence will be excluded from trial and which witnesses will be allowed to testify.

Harlow and Joe will also be given the opportunity to plead guilty, accept a plea bargain if one is offered, or proceed with a jury or non-jury trial.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday's Update...

Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra

  • Harlow Cuadra's auction for the infamous 'chinchilla' jacket has ended without a reserve bid ... it's now up for auction again.
  • New updates to Harlow and Joseph Kerekes' court dockets show that steno records have been filed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Additional Motions...

These were added overnight to Joseph Kerekes' docket (there are no new updates to Harlow Cuadra's docket), the rulings were done by Judge Olszewski on 10/04/07 during the formal arraignment:

  • Extra 30 days to file discovery & pre-trials granted
  • Motion to consolidate granted

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bowing Out

For personal reasons, I have decided not to blog anymore. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Fear not. PC shall soldier on.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Harlow's Jacket of Mystery

Update (10-18-07 12:17 PM): Harlow's jacket auction ended with one bid of $2500.00 ... it's not known if that bid will actually be accepted however, as the reserve price was never met.

Harlow Cuadra's Jacket

According to Harlow Cuadra's blog, he's selling a Chinchilla Jacket on Ebay for a starting bid of $2500.00. The auction states that the jacket was originally designed for Van Diesel [sic.] in the movie TripleX. The auction also leads one to believe that the jacket was worth $20,000.00 at the time of purchase (March 2007), in a Las Vegas Bernini store... on the same night as the infamous lamb dinner.

A Google search for “Bernini Chinchilla jacket” gives you: "Reversible Leather Rabbit Jacket - Reversible Leather Rabbit Jacket available for sale at Bernini Italian ... Dyed chinchilla-pattern rabbit hair reverses to become the lining or outer layer".

Bernini's website does show a surprisingly similar jacket for sale... but it's rabbit, and sells for only $5995.00:

It should also be noted that a current search on Bernini's clearly shows that they don't offer anything with Chinchilla (for men or women).

Ironically, it also doesn't appear as if Vin Diesel wore a jacket like Harlow's in the movie TripleX ( which screened in 2002 ):

OUT Magazine's October 2007 issue (page 90) quotes Joe's father, Fred Kerekes saying: "Joe had a $6,000 chinchilla coat he bought in Vegas. It was leather inside - it was reversible"... interesting how similar in price and description that is to the rabbit fur coat... not to mention that it's during the same time-frame Harlow claims to have bought his.

We're not trying to dispute Harlow's auction story, but with the information found... it does raise some legitimate questions.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Joseph Kerekes Gets New Attorneys

Joseph Kerekes

Update (4:07 AM): Citizens Voice also covers the story:

"Blum argued Cuadra or Kerekes might blame one another for slashing Kocis' throat and killing him before the fire. The accomplice defense creates an obvious conflict for the office, Blum said in a motion seeking new counsel.

Blum also contends another conflict arises from his and First Assistant Public Defender Al Flora's past representation of Kocis. Flora was interviewed by police and provided information relative to Kocis' murder, Blum said in his motion. Because Flora is a potential witness in the case, the public defender's office should be removed, Blum argued." [Note: Al Flora defended Kocis in 2001, when Kocis was charged with sexually assaulting a teenager.]


The Times Leader picks up the story:

"A Luzerne County judge on Friday appointed attorneys from outside the public defender’s office to defend Joseph Kerekes on homicide charges in connection with the slaying of Bryan Kocis.

The move came after attorney Jonathan Blum, a public defender, asked for attorneys outside his office to represent the men because of potential conflicts of interest with his office defending both men.

According to Blum’s court papers filed Friday, having public defenders represent both men creates a significant conflict of interest because the men, at trial, could accuse the other as the principal killer.

Also, Blum wrote, he and Al Flora Jr. had represented Kocis in the past. Flora is the county’s first assistant public defender.

Blum wanted outside attorneys appointed for both men but Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Ciavarella opted to appoint outside attorneys for only Kerekes."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Motions Filed Thus Far...

Several motions and petitions have been filed since October 11, 2007. Both in regards to Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes. Here's a breakdown thus far:

Harlow Cuadra:

(10/11/2007) Motion for order to Transcribe Record & Order filed by Judge Peter Paul Olszewski.

(10/12/2007) Motion for Appt Conflict Counsel & Order filed by Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. - this motion has been DENIED.

(10/12/2007) Petition for Appt of Counsel & Order filed by Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. - this petition has been DENIED.

Joseph Kerekes:

(10/11/2007) Motion for order to Transcribe Record & Order filed by Judge Peter Paul Olszewski.

(10/12/2007) Petition for Appt of Counsel & Order filed - appt Atty Pike-Atty Mark Bufalino-Atty Centini by Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. - this petition has been Approved.

(10/12/2007) Petition for Appt of Counsel & Order filed by Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. - this petition has been DENIED.

We'll explain these filings in more detail shortly... but needless to say, Joseph Kerekes has been given conflict counsel.

- PC

Where's Harlow Now? [Redux]

Lackawanna County Prison

After a brief stay at the Luzerne County prison, Harlow Cuadra has been transferred back to Lackawanna County prison until further notice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What Happens Next

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes

Now that the formal arraignment is over, and with Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes both pleading not guilty to the brutal murder of Bryan Kocis, the next legal step is the discovery process ... which basically serves as a period of trial preparation for both sides.

With pleas in place, Harlow and Joe's attorneys will now likely file a notice of intent to participate in discovery with the prosecution. That means that the district attorney's office is required to turn over any and all material that is potentially exculpatory.

The prosecutor has an affirmative duty to continue to provide Harlow and Joe with the names and addresses of all relevant witnesses, along with anything about those witnesses that might impeach their credibility-- like past criminal records, for example.

District Attorney

Further, the DA has to turn over that info even on witnesses that he doesn't actually intend to call at trial. The specific claims of anyone who gave exculpatory evidence during the course of the State's investigation have to be brought forward and handed over to the Defense. Additionally, the prosecutor must provide any written or recorded statements that Harlow and Joe provided. In short, if it's at all useful to the Defense, the DA has to cough it up.

As part of the discovery, Harlow and Joe's attorneys are allowed to question the prosecution’s witnesses through the deposition process... a formal inquiry of the witness, who tells his or her story under oath and has it recorded by a court reporter.

From now until the actual trial, the lawyers will also fight over motions that would affect how the case gets presented. Those motions include requests for a bill of particulars, motions for continuance, severance or joinder, evidentiary or testimonial suppression, etc., and begin within thirty days after the formal arraignment.

- Both PC and KM contributed to this story.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where's Harlow Now?

Luzerne County Prison

During last Thursday's formal arraignment for suspected murderer Harlow Cuadra, Judge Peter Olszewski ordered that Mr. Cuadra be transferred to Luzerne County prison from Lackawanna County prison - if the warden could ensure that Harlow would have no contact with co-defendent Joseph Kerekes.

A source familiar with the case that wishes to remain anonymous has confirmed that Harlow is in Luzerne County prison right now, but an agreement has still not been reached as to where he'll be staying long-term to await trial.

Update (4:04 PM): Harlow's blog also confirms this story:

- PC

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Harlow's Auction Site [Redux]

Harlow's Auction

All items listed for sale on Harlow Cuadra's auction site have been closed to bidding since October 4, 2007. It would appear as if the "Hot Tub of Fun" sold for $750, and one of Harlow's T-shirts sold for $50.

Considering Harlow and Joseph Kerekes have less than 30 days to report to the court, their intentions of hiring private attorneys or using public defenders... one would think that time is of the essence in trying to sell the remaining items to gather any additional funds they can. With 5 days already passed, that deadline is inching even closer.

Update (10/11/07): According to Harlow's blog, these items will now be auctioned on Ebay.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

To Believe... or Not To Believe [Redux]

Joseph Kerekes

After listening to the video feed from the Times Leader several times, Joseph Kerekes is clearly heard blaming the detectives in Virginia Beach for seizing his, and Harlow Cuadra's money and property. The questions is ... who's telling the truth when it comes to the actual dollar amount?

The Citizens Voice quoted Joe as saying "I'm very angry they took $200,000 of our money"; while the Times Leader also reported that Joe said police seized $200,000 and property from him and co-defendant Harlow Cuadra for no reason.

Yet Virginia Beach Court records clearly show that they only took $26,585.25 in monetary funds:

Virginia Forfeiture

What happened to the other $174,414.75?

Did two separate newspapers get the same quote wrong, or did Joe mistakingly add a '0' ?

Perhaps it's like the story Joe just recently posted on his own blog ( or someone acting as him ), stating that they had 40 computers:

What's odd is VA seized only 2 computers and 5 monitors. Were's the other 38 computers? Perhaps Mamma Kerekes cleaned house really well:

- PC

Friday, October 5, 2007

Formal Arraignment - What We've Learned

Joseph Kerekes

Yesterday’s Formal Arraignment for Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes provided a torrent of new information. Here’s a round-up of the latest facts in the Bryan Kocis murder case, as reported by the Wilkes-Barre media.

Some are simple; some have less-obvious implications.

1. Harlow and Joe both pleaded not guilty. A status conference was scheduled for December 21, 2007. The trial date was set for March 24, 2008

2. The district attorney's office announced its intention to try Cuadra and Kerekes jointly for Kocis' murder.

3. Joe's retained attorneys, Frank and Joseph Nocito, are no longer involved in the case. Kerekes all but said that lack of money was the reason for their brief inolvement in the case.

4. The attorney previously retained for Harlow, William Ruzzo remains his attorney (no doubt by court appointment), but is now lawyer for both defendants, along with Jonathan Blum from the public defender’s office.

5. Both defendants have 30 days to determine if they can hire private counsel. If not, it’s likely that a court-appointed conflict counsel will handle differences between the defenses of Harlow and Joe.

Harlow Cuadra

6. Not the least of those differences may arise because Cuadra has reportedly already “provided information about the case,” presumably to the DA’s office. (The folks at HarlowCuadraOnline flatly deny this report.)

7. Cuadra and Kerekes may fight for separate trials. If they do, it's an indication that they mean to present differing theories of the crime.

8. Harlow gave voice to the idea that Sean Lockhart and Grant Roy have knowledge of who killed Kocis.

9. Joe is demonstrably more interested in venting his anger about how he says police seized $200,000 in cash and property from him and Harlow for no reason. Or was it done to deny them a proper defense? Joe can’t seem to decide which, but he sure is mad about it.

10. For the convenience of the PD’s office, Olszewski directs that Cuadra be moved to the Luzerne County Jail if prison officials can find a way to keep him there while also keeping him separated from Kerekes.

11. It appears as if Olszewski has issued a limited gag order, barring the parties from publicly discussing certain aspects of the case. No telling what that order does to those blogs that purport to speak with the defendants’ voices.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Formal Arraignment: Further Updates

Harlow CuadraUpdate (10/05/07 5:35 AM): The Citizens Voice: As for the plea, Kocis' parents were in the front row of the courtroom, looking on when attorneys for both Cuadra and Kerekes said their clients were not guilty and wanted a trial.

When Olszewski asked Kerekes how he wanted to plead, he started to say "absolutely not" before he was interrupted by attorney Jonathan Blum, his public defender. Blum, not Kerekes, entered the plea. Kerekes later asked if he could say something, and Olszewski turned to him and said "no."

Blum indicated there is a potential conflict if the public defenders' office represents both Cuadra and Kerekes during trial. Cuadra already is being represented by Blum and fellow public defender William Ruzzo.

One solution is for Olszewski to appoint one of the county's conflict counsel to represent one of the two men, likely Kerekes, because Cuadra may have already provided information about the case. Olszewski also indicated both defendants would have 30 days to determine if they could hire private counsel.

The Times Leader also has an update, but it doesn't add much to what we already know.
WNEP TV-16 reports: 'Investigators said Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes of Virginia Beach are cold blooded killers but the two spoke with Newswatch 16 and their message was clear.

'"Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty," said Joseph Kerekes.

'He and Harlow Cuadra said they had nothing to do with Bryan Kocis' brutal murder. The two are charged with killing the gay porn producer in his Dallas are home in January, then torching the place. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against both men.

'Cuadra said 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."'

The Immediate Questions

Joseph Kerekes

Breaking news is not always accurate in every detail. We must consider that when assessing the information released by the Times Leader and Citizens’ Voice so far.

Bearing that fully in mind, a number of potential questions and discrepancies do arise.

1. Joe Kerekes is said to be angry that Pennsylvania State Police took $200,000 away from him and Harlow Cuadra, along with their home. He goes further, according to the reports, saying that the seizures were for no reason. What a curious thing to claim. Money and property were certainly seized but by the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s office, not the PA State Police. And the house was given back. Add to that, the knowledge that the money was thusly taken in the course of a pending RICO prosecution—hardly taken for no reason.

2. The articles also have Joe saying that he and Harlow need that money for their legal fees. But the pair’s outstanding debts would have almost certainly removed that money from them long before it could have been applied to legal fees. Anger does not change that fact.

3. We now hear that the Public Defenders office is involved in Harlow and Joe’s case. When exactly did they become involved? And do Harlow and Joe enjoy the same lawyers now—under court appointment—that they did by private means? Who are their new lawyers, if they have new ones?

Yes, here’s hoping that the longer articles expected tomorrow answer some questions... foremost being, are the reports confused, or are the defendants?

In Court: Formal Arraignment

Update (2:25 PM): Citizens Voice has also picked up on the story:

"Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. set a March 24 trial date and scheduled a Dec. 21 status conference. The Luzerne County District Attorney's Office notified Olszewski of its intent to try Cuadra and Kerekes together.

Two issues likely to come up in coming weeks are the joint trial and the appointment of potential conflict counsel, due to Cuadra and Kerekes both currently being represented by the county public defender's office.

On his way into the courthouse, Cuadra maintained his innocence and said it was "not right" the prosecution was seeking the death penalty."
The Times Leader is reporting that Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes have pleaded not guilty today at their formal arrainment.

"Homicide suspect Joseph Kerekes said he’s “very angry.”

"Police, he said, seized $200,000 and a home from himself and Harlow Cuadra for no reason.

That, he claims, is going to prevent the two from paying for an adequate defense on homicide charges – charges he and Cuadra plan to fight."

[Note: Citizens' Voice links to breaking news may go stale as soon as the story is updated.]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Formal Arraignment... What To Expect

Harlow and Joe

With the preliminary hearing over, we're now moving to the next stage which is Thursday's formal arraignment. This is where the charges will be formally announced to the court. ( we already know the death penalty is being sought ).

Once the indictment has been read aloud in court, both Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The only other alternative would be a plea of no contest, which neither admits or denies the facts alleged by the DA, often requires no allocution, and is a plea that cannot be used later as evidence against the defendant in future civil matters-- like if Mr. Kocis' family decided to sue Harlow and Joe. A no contest plea is allowed only at the prosecutors' (and judge's) discretion, and it almost certainly is not one available in this case.

If Harlow and Joe plead not guilty, the court will advise them of their right to counsel. If they're truly indigent and cannot afford counsel ( as their blog has stated ), the court will appoint Public Defenders to represent them.

There's also the remote possibility that one, or both could agree to a plea deal.

Please note that this is simply a brief overview, and that much more will be explained tomorrow after the arraignment.


First Harlow's Blog... Now The Auction

Harlow's Auction

In what could only be described as a last-minute attempt to quickly raise funds for Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' legal defense...

The online auction site selling various personal clothing items, a hot tub, plus a face-to-face meeting with the accused - now appears to be 'broken'. No bidding can take place, and users are left with an error message when trying to view/click on any item for sale.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Harlow's own blog went down for several days, before eventually being restored. The timing of this latest 'whoops' appears to be especially bad given the current circumstances.

Update @ 4:28 PM - All appears to be back to normal.


Monday, October 1, 2007

DA To Seek Death Penalty

David Lupas

Update (10/02/07, 3:18 AM): The CV has a longer story... '[Luzerne County DA David] Lupas declined to comment, saying the paperwork speaks for itself.

'But Cuadra's public defender William Ruzzo... believes Lupas is going for death for the wrong reasons.

'"The death penalty is immoral and cruel and unusual punishment and the DA seeks it for political gain," Ruzzo said. "There is only one reason for the death penalty and that is revenge."

'A woman who answered the telephone at Kocis' parents' residence declined to comment.

'Kerekes' attorneys, Frank and Joseph Nocito, also could not be reached for comment.'

Update (10/02/07, 02:12 AM): The Times Leader has a little more info. "If the men are convicted of first-degree murder in the death, a jury will then hear additional testimony in what’s called the penalty phase.

"Prosecutors will present testimony to support their two factors of why they think the men should get death. Defense attorneys will present testimony to show why a sentence of life in prison would be more appropriate.

"The jury must be unanimous in its decision, or a judge will impose a sentence of life."


The Citizens Voice is reporting that the DA will seek the death penalty in the Bryan Kocis murder:

"Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas filed notice Monday of his intention to seek the death penalty against Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes in the January 2007 murder of Brian Kocis.

The prosecution argues it has grounds to seek the death penalty because Kocis' murder was allegedly committed in the process of a robbery and arson.

Prosecution also argues both Kerekes and Cuadra created a risk of death to other people while allegedly committing the crimes."

- Both PC & KM contributed to this story