Friday, February 27, 2009

Harlow Cuadra's Trial... Day 4

6:16 PM: Guess who's coming... reporting live from the LZ... ready to report on Monday. :)

5:24 PM: I'm told by a reliable source that PPO issued an order that Sean Lockhart and Grant Roy aren't allowed to speak to each other over the weekend.

4:22 PM: Sources tell me that Grant Roy has not taken the stand thus far, and he probably won't until Monday.

4:00 PM: Once again, I'm told by a court watcher that one of the videos shown during today's trial, was Sean and Harlow playing with one another on the beach, and from what they understand, Grant Roy was video-taping. This video did not include a football being thrown around, and lasted for about 10-15 minutes.

3:08 PM: A court watcher tells me that the trial is on a 15 minute break.

2:50 PM: The Times Leader is reporting that a seven minute video of Harlow Cuadra and Sean Lockhart playing catch with a football and walking nude on a beach near San Diego, Calif., was played to the jury on Friday.

Lockhart, who is testifying on the fourth day of Cuadra's capital murder trial, said Cuadra's partner, Joseph Kerekes, recorded the video on Black's Beach, a nude beach, on April 28, 2007.

Conversations Cuadra and Lockhart had on the beach, including having dinner the day before, is expected to be played to the jury.

Cuadra is charged in the killing of gay pornographic movie producer Bryan Kocis, 44, inside Kocis' home in Dallas Township on Jan. 24, 2007.

Prosecutors alleged Cuadra and Kerekes, 35, killed Kocis to avoid paying Kocis' company, Cobra Video.

Lockhart was a contract model for Cobra Video.

While walking along the beach on April 27, 2007, Lockhart said Cuadra and Kerekes were "opening up" about the murder. This made Lockhart upset, he testified, and he fell behind.

"Cuadra dropped back, he touched my arm and he said, 'don't worry, it was quick, he went quick,'" Lockhart testified while nearly sobbing.

2:31 PM: A court watcher tells me that Sean Lockhart is still on the witness stand, and that there are more spectators in the courtroom these past two days.

1:48 PM: The Citizens' Voice reports that Sean Lockhart, a well-known gay pornography star, started his testimony this morning in the capital murder trial of Harlow Cuadra.

Lockhart, a key witness in prosecutor's case, testified Cuadra started contacting him in the fall of 2006 through his My Space account, a social networking Web site. Cuadra was very persistent that the two men produce a flim together, Lockhart said.

Lockhart, 22, testified for about 40 minutes before the lunch break. He will resume his testimony this afternoon.

Lockhart, along with his business partner Grant Roy, were part of a police wiretap that recorded conversations with Kerekes and Cuadra at a nude beach near San Diego in April 2007. Lockhart has yet to testify about the tapes. Roy is also expected to testify later today.

Kerekes, 35, pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide in December, but is not expected to testify in Cuadra's trial.

Earlier this morning, alternate juror three was dismissed due to health problems.

The male juror, who has diabetes, was too ill to report today, county Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. said. After conferring with attorneys from both sides, the juror was dismissed and testimony continued. Three alternates, two men and one woman, remain in additition to the jury of eight men and four women.

State Trooper Michael Boone continued his testimony this morning about evidence he gathered at Bryan Kocis' Dallas Township home the night he was killed. Prosecutors allege Cuadra stabbed Kocis to death on Jan. 24, 2007, in order to eliminate Kocis, a rival producer of gay pornography, as a competitor.

An employee of AT&T testified about phone records before the morning break.

11:49 AM: And another report from the Times Leader... Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. excused the jury to inquire if Sean Lockhart wanted a lawyer after Lockhart made "potentially incriminating" statements that he worked in adult films as a minor.

Lockhart was answering questions from Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick about his background in adult films when Olszewski stopped the proceeding and excused the jury from the courtroom.

Olszewski cautioned Lockhart that he may have "incriminated himself criminally" by admitting under oath he provided a false identification and was performing in adult films while a minor.

Olszewski gave Lockhart several options, to include speaking with a lawyer or declining to speak with a laywer and continue to testify.

Lockhart declined to speak or have a lawyer, and Olszewski returned the jury to resume the trial.

11:32 AM: More reports from the Times Leader... Sean Lockhart testified he had several "internet interactions" with Harlow Cuadra beginning in December 2006. Lockhart was called to testify in Cuadra's capital murder trial before Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.

Lockhart said he was "17" years old when he did "two shoots that were spread onto four DVDs," adding that his first film was for Cobra Video, operated by Bryan Kocis, 44.

Lockhart, now 22, said he owns his own adult production company based in San Diego, Calif.

Prosecutors alleged Cuadra killed Kocis, whom he considered a main rival in pornographic films, and wanted to flim movies with Lockhart. Kocis was found dead inside his Dallas Township home on Jan. 24, 2007, more than a week after Lockhart met with Cuadra at the adult video news award ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev.

Two witnesses in adult films testified earlier this week that Lockhart was a "well known" actor in the industry, and Cuadra would have made "six figures" from movies with Lockhart.

11:20 AM: The Times Leader says that Sean Lockhart is expected to testify today at Harlow Cuadra's capital murder trial.

Lockhart walked into the courtroom and sat down, awaiting to be called to the witness stand.

Lockhart's business agent and partner, Grant Roy, is also expected to testify today.

Cuadra, 27, turned to the right when Lockhart entered the courtroom, and put his head down.

Prosecutors are expected to play to the jury recorded conversations Lockhart and Roy had with Cuadra and Cuadra's partner, Joseph Kerekes, in California.

Investigators alleged Cuadra and Kerekes made several "admissions" to the murder of rival gay pornographic movie producer Bryan Kocis in January 2007.

9:26 AM: The Times Leader is reporting that an alternate juror in the Harlow Cuadra capital murder trial in Luzerne County was excused due to illness.

Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. identified the juror as alternate #3, a male who is a diabetic.

Olszewski said the alternate juror's wife contacted the court last night to say her husband was ill. Olszewski said he spoke on the telephone with the alternate juror this morning, and was told the alternate juror became ill overnight.

Due to the developments, Olszewski met with prosecutors and Cuadra's lawyers before trial proceedings, and it was agreed to excuse the juror and continue the trial with three alternate jurors.

Testimony is continuing with state police Trooper Michael Boone, a member of the forensic services unit, Friday morning. He testified that Kocis' home was severely damaged by a fire, and he found five loaded handguns inside the home.

Jurors are expected to listen to conversations investigators intercepted between Cuadra and Kerekes and Grant Roy and Sean Lockahrt. Roy and Lockhart were involved in a civil federal lawsuit with Kocis.

Prosecutors claim in court records that Cuadra and Kerekes made "admissions" to Kocis' murder.

8:25 AM: Harlow Cuadra's fourth day of trial is scheduled to begin in about 5 minutes. Trooper Michael Boone is expected to resume his testimony this morning, and prosecutors are expected to call Grant Roy and Sean Lockhart to testify and to play two recorded conversations they had with Cuadra and Lockhart in San Diego, Calif., on April 27 and April 28, 2007.

Stay tuned for further updates throughout the day.