Monday, February 25, 2008

Judge Denies Motion to Compel

02/25/2008 Order of Court filed. Motion to Compel DENIED Olszewski, Peter Paul Jr.

To the best of my knowledge... Judge Peter Paul Olszewski has denied the motion filed by Joseph Kerekes' attorneys to compel the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's response to the Defendant's request for a Bill of Particulars. I'll try to have a more exact answer shortly, as I could be wrong as to which motion.

Update @ 3:39 PM: I am correct as to the particular motion that was denied. Also, Kerekes has waived his right to a speedy trial.

Update @ 4:40 PM: The Commonwealth's Answer To Defendant Kerekes' Motion To Compel Bill Of Particulars... I'm posting a copy of the acutal documents, as I think I've typed enough lately :)

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Update @ 5:50 PM: The Times Leader picks up on the story:

Luzerne County prosecutors do not have to reveal prior to trial whether they believe homicide suspect Joseph Kerekes was the principal killer of Bryan Kocis or just an accomplice.

Kerekes’ attorneys asked a judge to force prosecutors to reveal their theory because the attorneys believed it is legal to only seek the death penalty for a principal killer, not an accomplice.

If prosecutors don’t believe Kerekes is the principal killer, the attorneys indicated they could ask that prosecutors be barred from seeking the death penalty for Kerekes.

But Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. on Monday ruled against the attorneys, saying prosecutors do not have to reveal their theory.

Prosecutors are seeking the penalty for Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra in the Jan. 24, 2007, slaying of Kocis.

Investigators claim the two Virginia men killed Kocis, their rival in the gay porn industry, inside his Dallas Township home and then set the house on fire. Kocis, 44, was found dead by firefighters.

Kerekes and Cuadra are awaiting trial on homicide and other charges.

As part of a pre-trial request, Kerekes’ attorneys asked for the prosecutors to reveal whether they thought Kerekes was the principal killer or accomplice.

But prosecutors said evidence in the case “fully suggests” both suspects could be principals in the case. They also said they did not have to reveal that theory prior to trial, but even if Kerekes was just an accomplice, they could still seek the death penalty for him if he helped commit the slaying.

Update @ 6:34 PM: The Citizen's Voice also carries the story.