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