Friday, February 20, 2009

More Jurors Selected in Cuadra Trial

5:16 PM: According to the Times Leader... eleven jurors have been selected for the Luzerne County capital murder trial of Harlow Cuadra, accused in killing a rival gay pornography movie producer.

Three males were accepted by assistant district attorneys Michael Melnick, Shannon Crake and Allyson Kacmarski, and Cuadra's lawyers, Joseph D'Andrea and Paul Walker Friday morning, the fourth day of jury selection.

Investigators alleged Cuadra and his partner, Joseph Kerekes, 35, both from Virginia Beach, Va., killed Bryan Kocis, 44, inside Kocis' home that they set on fire in January 2007.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cuadra. Kerekes pleaded guilty in December to second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. will resume jury selection Monday morning.

Currently, the jury is made up with seven males and four females.

11:12 AM: The Citizens' Voice reports that two men were picked as jury members this morning in the capital homicide case of Harlow Cuadra. This brings the jury to 10, six men and four women, with two more jurors and four alternates still needed.

Cuadra, 27, is accused of killing Bryan Kocis at his Dallas Township home, before setting fire to the Midland Drive house. Prosecutors allege Cuadra killed Kocis, 44, a rival producer of gay pornography, in order to lure an actor to the gay pornography business he co-owned with Joseph Kerekes.

Kerekes, 35, pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide in the case.

Jury selection started Tuesday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have individually interviewed 77 potential jurors thus far. The selection process is set to resume this afternoon. If six more people are not chosen by this afternoon, county Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. said jury selection will continue Monday.