Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kerekes' Attorneys: DA Shouldn't be Allowed to use Alibi Witnesses

The Times Leader is reporting that Prosecutors should not be allowed to call any of their 385 witnesses to rebut homicide suspect Joseph Kerekes' possible alibi defense, his attorneys say.

The attorneys want those sanctions put on prosecutors because the prosecutors identified rebuttal witnesses who have not been told they might testify in such a capacity, court papers say.

The dispute started once Kerekes' attorneys, John Pike, Mark Bufalino, and Shelley Centini, filed court papers indicating they might present an alibi witness at trial. That alibi might show that Kerekes was inside a Plains Township hotel when Bryan Kocis was being killed inside his Dallas Township home.

Prosecutors responded by revealing that they had 385 prospective witnesses to call and rebut that alibi.

But in the court papers filed Thursday by Kerekes' attorneys, some of those witnesses had no knowledge of being a witness in that capacity.

One of those witnesses was attorney David Lipka. Two other witnesses were Kerekes' parents, Fred and Rosalie. Kerekes' attorneys said they contacted those individuals. They said they "had no knowledge" of being a alibi rebuttal witness.

That, Kerekes' attorneys say, shows prosecutors acted in "bad faith" and outside state rule's applying to the alibi witness rebuttal.

Now, Kerekes' attorneys want Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. to sanction prosecutors by prohibiting them from "introducing evidence of any alibi rebuttal witness" or have them properly comply with he state's rules on the issue. The attorneys also want statements the 385 witnesses gave to prosecutors.