Saturday, March 1, 2008

Court Document Revelations...

After reading close to 500 pages of court documents (so far) relating to the murder trial(s) of Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes, I've been keeping notes of events and statements made... especially those that to the best of my knowledge have not yet been reported. This is my first installment:

  • According to documents filed by the Prosecution, "Harlow's initial discharge from the Navy was not an Honorable discharge, and the ruling was appealed by Harlow." No word on what became of the appeal. This was in response to a statement made in the Initial Pre-Trial Motions filed by Harlow's then attorneys William Russo and John Donovan.

  • The Prosecution had requested a May/June trial date, though this was right before Cuadra hired Fannick, so until that issue is resolved I don't see that happening.

  • "In April 2007 while on a nudist beach and in a restaurant in San Diego, Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra had conversations in which Mr. Kerekes and Mr. Cuadra each acknowledged responsibility for the single, fatal, decapitating blow." This statement was made in the Commonwealth's Brief in Opposition to Defendant Kerekes' Motion for Bill of Particulars. The transcripts that the Prosecution has submitted are of only the Black's Beach visit, the restaurant discussion (Joe's Crab Shack - thanks DeWayne) actually occured the previous day. Why this transcript wasn't submitted at the same time is anyone's guess. I can only assume that it will be used as discovery and not part of the Bill of Particulars , which means we probably won't know it's contents until trial.

  • "At the time of arraignment, Mr. Cuadra could no longer afford private counsel. Accordingly an application was taken by the Luzerne County Public Defender's Office, and despite Mr. Cuadra's having an income above the Public Defender's guideline, the Court appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Mr. Cuadra." ... "Mr. Kerekes could no longer afford private counsel and the Public Defender's Office took an application from Mr. Kerekes and he qualified for representation." From the Petition for Appointment of Counsel, filed by Jonathan Blum, one of Kerekes' previous attorneys.

  • "In light of the foregoing, counsel has not yet discussed the facts of the case with either Defendant and explained to them the that he would be presenting a Petition seeking the appointment of conflict counsel and/or Court appointed counsel." From the Petition for Appointment of Counsel, filed by Jonathan Blum, one of Kerekes' previous attorneys. If this is true, then Harlow and Joe had to wait until at least October 12, 2007 to discuss the facts of their case, as this is when outside counsel was appointed for Joe.