Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kerekes May Hire Fannick as Legal Counsel

Joseph Kerekes

The Citizens Voice is reporting that Attorney Demetrius Fannick has been contacted by accused killer Joseph Kerekes about representing him during his upcoming trial.

Fannick is the last attorney in Luzerne County whose client beat a criminal homicide charge and the possibility of lethal injection. Fannick convinced a Luzerne County jury in March 2006 there was enough reasonable doubt to clear Hugo Selenski of the murders of two men.

The Kerekes case reminds him of the Selenski case, Fannick said Tuesday. There is one major difference — Fannick will not represent Kerekes for free as he did with Selenski. Fannick would not say how much money Kerekes would need to retain his services.

“I certainly would like to get involved in Mr. Kerekes’ case,” Fannick said. “I believe it’s very defendable. But I can’t do anything until I’m retained.”

Demetrius Fannick

Fannick briefly discussed the case with Kerekes during a recent visit at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, but did not delve into details of the case because Kerekes is represented by county court-appointed conflict counsel Mark Bufalino, Shelley Centini and John Pike. Should Kerekes raise enough money to hire private counsel, Fannick could get the job.

“There are certainly limitations on my conversation with him,” Fannick said. “I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I don’t want to in any way interfere with Mr. Kerekes’ representation unless I am retained.”

Fannick believes Kerekes’ family is attempting to raise money for his defense, but is unsure where their effort stands. Kerekes’ parents, Fred and Rosalie, sold a property in the Virginia Beach area for $229,000 in July. A phone number for Fred and Rosalie Kerekes has been disconnected and they could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

There also are active Web sites soliciting funds for Kerekes and Cuadra. Cuadra is currently represented by the Luzerne County public defenders’ office, but District Attorney David Lupas’ office is asking a judge to remove the public defender’s office as Cuadra’s attorneys because of a conflict of interest.

Fannick said representatives of Lupas’ office contacted him to inquire about whether he would be representing Kerekes. No one from Lupas’ office could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.