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."'