Monday, March 23, 2009

Brief Update...

1. Judge PPO has granted a prosecution request that Harlow Cuadra pay restitution for funeral expenses related to the death of Bryan Kocis... I'm fairly certain it'll be equal to the $2766.08 that Joe has already been ordered to pay.

2. 14 orders have been unsealed for Joseph Kerekes... but as of this post, none of the sealed orders filed by the DA's office have been unsealed... so it looks like we'll have to wait.

... more later.

Update @ 6:22 PM: Sources now tell me that PPO ordered that Cuadra pay $3,016.08 in restitution to Kocis' estate for funeral and estate expenses. The order also says that Joseph D'Andrea [Harlow's attorney] was in agreement with this figure.

Update @ 7:13 PM: I'm told that some of Joesph Kerekes' unsealed documents revealed that there was also some mention of him writing unsolicited letters to Demitrius Fannick. Fannick wanted that to stop.... he was not council of record...and Joe said that all Fannick ever wanted was money. PPO cautioned everyone, and spelled it out loud and clear for Joseph Kerekes that he needed to stop all the BS.

Update @ 9:50 PM: There was also a transcript of proceedings that were held behind closed doors with Joseph Kerekes and his attorneys Bufalino, Centini , etc... the hearing was because Bufalino wanted to make PPO aware that Joseph Kerekes was not following their advice, and is becoming his own worst enemy by communicating with both Renee Martin and Harlow Cuadra. His defense was that he needs to communicate with Renee Martin because she is his support financially, and his parents couldn't support him that way.

Update @ 03/25/2009: The Times Leader is reporting that Joseph Kerekes did a lot of talking and writing, so much that his lawyers raised concerns about it to a Luzerne County judge behind closed doors.

A transcript of the closed-door court hearing held Feb. 20, 2008, was one of several sealed court records in the Bryan Kocis’ homicide case that were opened to the public late Monday afternoon.

Attorneys Mark Bufalino, John Pike and Shelley Centini requested a closed hearing with Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. in February 2008 to express concerns their client, Kerekes, was writing letters to Renee Martin, of Texas, and attorney Demetrius Fannick about defense strategy. At the time, Kerekes and Cuadra were facing the homicide charges.

The judge, the three attorneys, Kerekes, Olszewski’s law clerk, a court reporter and several sheriff deputies were the only people in the courtroom that was closed to the public and prosecutors.

According to the transcript of the hearing, Kerekes’ attorneys said they were in an awkward position and felt useless in defending Kerekes because they felt he was releasing confidential information. Pike told the judge that Kerekes had ignored their advice to keep quiet.

“There has been multiple third-party communications by our client with people involved and not involved with this case despite our significant warnings,” Pike said. “It has come to our attention that some of this information may have come into the hands of the District Attorney’s Office. …”

Authorities obtained the letters Kerekes had written to Martin, who formerly resided near Kerekes and Cuadra in Virginia Beach, Va. Kerekes also wrote a letter to Fannick, who, in turn, gave it to Pike.

“Attorney Fannick forwarded me a letter that he got from our client with the request that I inform our client not to communicate with him anymore, that (Fannick) is not his counsel,” Pike told Olszewski.

Fannick had met with Kerekes at least eight times at the Luzerne County prison, prior to Fannick’s brief representation of Cuadra. Fannick was eventually disqualified in March 2008 from representing Cuadra.

Olszewski warned Kerekes that releasing information protected by the attorney-client privilege would jeopardize his defense. Kerekes responded, according to the transcript, that he understood Olszewski’s warnings.