Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kerekes’ Attorneys Argue Car was Searched Illegally

The Citizen's Voice is reporting that attorneys for accused killer Joseph Kerekes filed a brief in support of a previous motion to suppress evidence Virginia authorities seized after his 2007 arrest in Virginia.

The document, filed Friday in Luzerne County Court, argued Kerekes’ car was searched illegally, and that a knife seized by Virginia authorities had nothing to do with his alleged criminal activity in that state.

Kerekes, 34, was arrested on May 15, 2007, after a traffic stop in Virginia Beach, Va. Local authorities detained him as a fugitive from justice, knowing he was wanted in Pennsylvania.

Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra, 26, are accused of killing Bryan Kocis in January 2007, inside his Dallas Township home. Kocis, 46, was stabbed several times, and then the home was set ablaze in an attempt to conceal the crime.

According to court documents:

Virginia authorities seized several items from Kerekes’ car following his arrest in Virginia Beach. His home was searched the following day.

Among the items seized were the knife, a camcorder and tapes, laptop computers and a wireless air card.

Kerekes’ attorneys, Shelly Centini and John Pike, argued items taken from his car were seized illegally. The Virginia warrant issued for his alleged involvement in prostitution was not signed until the day after his arrest, they argued.

Centini and Pike further argued that the knife seized had nothing to do with the prostitution investigation.

Virginia authorities never charged Kerekes with any crimes relating to prostitution, Centini and Pike said. They turned all the evidence seized with Virginia warrants over to Pennsylvania authorities, who had a greater interest in his capture.

Because of that, Centini and Pike argued Pennsylvania law applied to the search of Kerekes’ car. Under Pennsylvania law, the only post-arrest evidence police can seize are weapons, or evidence that could be destroyed.