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.