Thursday, February 26, 2009

Harlow Cuadra's Trial... Day 3

3:31 PM: The Citizens' Voice is reporting that a representative from Discover Financial testified Harlow Cuadra used his Discover card to pay for a Silver Nissan Xterra SUV from a Virginia Beach, Va. rental dealer the day before Bryan Kocis was killed.

Prosecutors have called 15 witnesses today in the capital homicide trial of Cuadra, who is accused of stabbing to death Kocis in the victim's Dallas Township home.

Four different neighbors testified they saw a silver SUV parked in the driveway of Kocis’ Midland Drive home the night he was killed.

2:21 PM: The Times Leader reports that prosecutors are expected to show a Luzerne County jury a fire damaged plasma television and door from Bryan Kocis' Dallas Township home.

Ten witnesses have been called to testify today, Cuadra's third day of his capital murder trial before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.

Several witnesses who testified today reside on Midland Drive. They collectively told the jury that they saw a light colored sport utility vehicle driving on Midland Drive or parked in Kocis' driveway, and afterwards saw Kocis' home on fire.

Donna Yachim, who resides on Midland Drive, testified she was looking out her front window waiting for her husband to come home from work from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2007. Yachim said she saw a vehicle slowly driving past her home.

"It was very abnormally slow, it looked like somebody looking for a property," Yachim said.

Yachim said just after 8:30 p.m. that night, her daughter said Kocis' home was on fire. Yachim called 911 and her husband ran to a neighbor's house to alert them to get out.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick said the fire gutted Kocis' home.

11:09 AM: An update from the Citizens' Voice says... Bryan Kocis, having just settled a year-long legal issue with one of his actors, was thrilled with his gay pornography business in early January 2007, a witness testified this morning.

The prospect of a new model, who had applied online at Kocis’ Web site further stoked his excitement, said Robert Wagner, who acted and shot video for Kocis.

“(Kocis) was very excited, he thought (the model) was very cute,” Wagner testified this morning in the capital homicide trial of Harlow Cuadra.

Wagner said he visited Kocis the weekend before his January 2007 death, to help with various aspects of the business. The two men talked numerous times about the prospective model, who called himself Danny Moilin of King of Prussia, but who prosecutors say was really Cuadra.

Prosecutors called three witnesses this morning in the third day of testimony. Cuadra is accused of stabbing Kocis to death at his Dallas Township home in January 2007 before setting the Midland Drive house on fire.

Cuadra, prosecutors say, killed Kocis to eliminate him as a rival of his own gay pornography business, which he co-owned with Joseph Kerekes in Virginia Beach, Va.

After reviewing photos of Moilin, which appear to be Cuadra, Wagner told Kocis he didn’t think the prospective model would work out.

“I didn’t think he was good,” Wagner said. “He was muscle and older looking.”

Kocis disagreed and planned to meet with Moilin on Jan. 24, 2007, the day he died.

Kocis had been in a legal disagreement with Sean Lockhart, stage name Brent Corrigan, and his partner Grant Roy. But the men had reached an agreement about filming rights in early January 2007 in Las Vegas and later San Diego, Wagner said. Everyone was happy with the new arrangement, he said.

“The weight of the world had been lifted off (their) shoulders,” Wagner said.

Previous witnesses testified that Cuadra and Kerekes wanted to sign Lockhart to shoot films for their business, but viewed Kocis as an impediment.

Following Wagner's testimony, prosecutors called Andre Pappas, a Drug Enforcement Agency officer in San Diego. He testified to a recording device he helped investigators use to record a conversation between Cuadra, Kerekes, Roy and Lockhart at a nude beach in the San Diego area. The device was hidden inside a keyless car entry keychain.

Cuadra admitted to the crimes, prosecutors say, in the taped conversation, which hasn’t been played for the jury yet.

10:47 AM: The Times Leader is reporting that Bryan Kocis didn't allow anyone inside his home unless he was expecting someone, a friend testified on day three of Harlow Cuadra's capital murder trial before Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.

Robert Wagner, who described himself as Kocis' best friend, said Kocis was "reclusive" and never answered his door.

Assistant district attorneys Michael Melnick, Shannon Crake and Allyson Kacmarski alleged Cuadra was invited into Kocis' home after he applied to Kocis' company, Cobra Video, under the name of Danny Moilin on Jan. 24, 2007.

Kocis was found dead inside his Dallas Township home later that night by firefighters who responded to the Midland Drive residence for a fire that, investigators alleged, was intentionally set.

Wagner said Kocis asked him about Moilin as a new model for Cobra Video, a production company of gay pornographic films.

"I didn't think he would be good, he was muscular and older," Wagner said about Moilin, who prosecutors claim was Cuadra.

Wagner further testified that he was with Kocis in Las Vegas, Nev., for the adult video news award ceremony in mid-January 2007 and met with Cobra Video actor Sean Lockhart and Lockhart's business agent, Grant Roy.

At the Las Vegas meeting, Wagner said Kocis was about to do "cartwheels" because Kocis settled a federal civil lawsuit he filed against Lockhart and Roy.

It was also at the adult video news ceremony, investigators alleged, that Cuadra and his partner, Joseph Kerekes, met Lockhart and Roy to discuss making films together.

8:16 AM: Harlow Cuadra's third day of trial is scheduled to begin in about 15 minutes, rumor has it that Robert Wagner, Grant Roy, and Sean Lockhart are expected to testify today - we'll see. Stay tuned for further updates throughout the day.