Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Key Kocis Trial Witness Deployed to Iraq

Justin Hensley

The Times Leader is reporting that a key witness expected to testify against two men accused of killing a gay porn producer has been deployed to Iraq, prosecutors say.

Now, prosecutors are fighting to use the past testimony given by Justin Hensley at a preliminary hearing against the slaying suspects, Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes.

At a preliminary hearing on the charges, Hensley testified he heard Cuadra and Kerekes discuss Kocis and his company, Cobra Video.

Hensley said Cobra Video was preventing the porn business of Cuadra and Kerekes from expanding.

Hensley testified that Cuadra and Kerekes wanted to work with gay porn actor Sean Lockhart but couldn’t because Lockhart was under a contract with Kocis’ company.

But Hensley, a soldier in the U.S. Army, will be unavailable to testify at the March trial for Cuadra and Kerekes, the prosecutors said.

Hensley “is part of an Army unit that is currently deployed in Iraq,” according to the court papers filed by assistant district attorneys Mike Melnick, Tim Doherty, Shannon Crake, and William Dunn.

(UPDATED 1:19 PM) Prosecutors also want permission to introduce evidence of other “crimes” or “wrongs” the men committed relevant to the slaying. They want to show evidence that Cuadra and Kerekes:

burglarized Kocis’ home; ran an escort service and illegal prostitution service; approached individuals to ask them to give police false information about their whereabouts the day Kocis died; and destroyed some of Kocis’ personal property.