Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Harlow Cuadra's Trial... Day 7

6:14 PM: Sources tell me that Grant Roy was in the courtroom today listening to testimony, but was told to leave/pulled out by a detective between 3:30 and 4 this afternoon.

4:34 PM: The Citizens' Voice reports that Harlow Cuadra needed an alibi for the day Bryan Kocis was killed, a friend of Cuadra testified today in Cuadra’s capital homicide trial.

Howard Halford testified Cuadra told him “a bad alibi is better than no alibi.”

Halford met Cuadra through the male escort service Cuadra co-owned with Joseph Kerekes in Virginia Beach, Va.. Cuadra, 27, is accused of killing Kocis, a rival pornography producer, at his Dallas Township home on Jan. 24, 2007, in order to lure an actor to the gay pornography business he also co-owned with Kerekes, 35.

Halford, who said he was in love with Cuadra, testified he gave the 27-year-old more than $70,000 for legal defense since he was imprisoned. Although Cuadra asked him several times for help with an alibi, Halford said he never lied to police.

“You were not with him on January 24?” Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick asked.

“No,” Halford said.

Halford was not the only former client of Cuadra who testified he donated money to Cuadra’s legal defense or was asked to come up with an alibi. Nep Maliki, of Virginia Beach, said Cuadra sent him letters asking Maliki to remember facts about an alibi that was made up. Maliki, who works two fast food restaurant jobs, told jurors he donated $50 to Cuadra’s legal defense fund.

Thirteen witnesses testified in the seventh day of testimony. About half of the witnesses verified electronic records about various things from Cuadra’s My Space Web page or phone records.

Renee Martin, a neighbor of Harlow Cuadra testified today she talked to Kerekes hundreds or thousands of times, while the two men were jailed in Virginia Beach related to Kocis’ Dallas Township homicide. The two men were held there for several weeks after their arrest. Martin said she received several letters from Cuadra about the case, but that Kerekes was the primary contact.

Prosecution will resume its case at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.

3:37 PM: Looks like Joseph Kerekes will be testifying afterall, this was just filed this morning: Petition for Writ of habeas Corpus Ad testificandum & Writ filed. Transport Kerekes to Lackawanna Co.

3:04 PM: According to the Times Leader, a man from Georgia testified he gave $70,000 to homicide suspect Harlow Cuadra.

Howard Mitch Halford, of Atlanta, told the jury that he is in "love" with Cuadra, 27, and gave him the keys to his residence as an option when Cuadra was a suspect in the death of Bryan Kocis in January 2007.

Cuadra and his business partner, Joseph Kerekes, in Norfolk Male Companions and the production of gay pornographic movies, were arrested in May 2007 in Kocis' killing.

Halford was a long standing escort client of Cuadra.

Halford testified on the seventh day of Cuadra's capital murder trial before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. that Cuadra solicited him to tell investigators that he was with Cuadra the night Kocis was killed on Jan. 24, 2007.

Halford initially told investigators that he was with Cuadra, but later recanted, saying he saw Cuadra once during a two-week span in late January.

Halford said he gave Cuadra $70,000 for his love for him. He also knew Cuadra's business partner, Joseph Kerekes.

Halford described the relationship with Cuadra and Kerekes as "a little puppy."

"Kerekes had such control over Harlow, how would I describe it, it was like a little puppy," Halford said.

A letter Cuadra wrote to another escort client, Nep Maliki, was shown to the jury.

In the letter dated June 13, 2007, Cuadra instructed Maliki on what to say to investigators.

Maliki, of Virginia Beach, testified that he kept the letter in his pocket for six months. Malicki further said he gave Cuadra $50 to his legal defense, donating the money on a Web site called

Another escort client, Joseph Ryan, testified earlier today that he gave Cuadra more than $7,000 for his legal defense.

12:03 PM: The Times Leader is reporting that Renee Martin testified that there were hundreds, if not, thousands of jailhouse phone calls from homicide suspects Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra.

Martin, who formerly lived near Kerekes and Cuadra in Virginia Beach, Va., said she arranged the phone calls by paying a special inmate phone account.

She was the prosecution's 46th witness to testify in Cuadra's capital murder trial before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. Cuadra's trial is in its seventh day of testimony. Cuadra is charged in the killing of Bryan Kocis, 44, at Kocis' Dallas Township home on Jan. 24, 2007.

Martin said Kerekes made the majority of the phone calls and Cuadra called two or three times a week.

Prosecutors played to the jury two recorded phone calls that were placed when Cuadra and Kerekes were jailed at the Virginia Beach Correctional Facility from May 15 to July 16, 2007.

During the recorded phone calls, Kerekes and Cuadra discussed alibi plans, with Cuadra telling Kerekes, "Don't make my hole too deep to crawl out of." Kerekes was heard saying, "I think the detectives are hard up on evidence."

"I know (investigators) don't believe that I opened the door and saw the body, I know they don't believe that," Cuadra said during one of the recorded phone calls.

Prosecutors alleged the two men made up an alibi they called Plan B, in which, Kerekes remained at a motel in Plains Township and Cuadra traveled to Kocis' home on Midland Drive, and seeing Kocis' body on a couch and the residence on fire.

Martin further testified that she received several letters from Cuadra and Kerekes; however, prosecutors presented to the jury three Cuadra letters and one letter written by Kerekes.

In a six page letter Cuadra drafted to Martin on Oct. 12, 2007, Cuadra wrote "The Plan" which included obtaining attorneys who could tell a good story.

Martin, whom Melnick advised Olszewski would be on the witness stand for a length of time, testified for about 30 minutes.

Victor Maciel, a representative from Inc., testified the account registered under Cuadra's name was activated several times on Jan. 24, 2007.

10:47 AM: According to the Citizens' Voice... three prosecution witnesses testified this morning in Harlow Cuadra’s capital homicide trial, and jurors are expected to listen to recorded phone conversations Cuadra had from a Virginia jail when they return from the morning recess.

Renee Martin, who had several conversations by phone with Cuadra while he was in jail, is expected to testify next. Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. told jurors before the break that Martin’s testimony would be long.

A previous witness testified today that incoming calls to Harlow were recorded when he was housed at the Virginia Beach, Va., jail. The two other witnesses this morning, a client and a former escort, testified about the escort and gay pornography business Cuadra ran with his partner Joseph Kerekes.

10:43 AM: The Times Leader reports that an escort customer to Harlow Cuadra's male escort business testified that he donated more than $7,000 to Cuadra's defense fund.

John Ryan, a computer consultant in Virginia, testified he has known Cuadra since 2003 when he became a client for Cuadra's escort company Norfolk Male Companions.

After Cuadra was charged with the killing of Bryan Kocis in Kocis' Dallas Township home in January 2007, Ryan said Cuadra sought money for his legal defense on criminal homicide charges.

Ryan was called to testify by prosecutors on the seventh day of Cuadra's capital murder trial before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. He explained to the jury he visited Cuadra in jail, and it was explained to him what happened the night Kocis was killed on Jan. 24, 2007.

"He said he arrived at Mr. Kocis' residence and saw the door open and Kocis' body on a couch. He said he heard a noise, he fled and called Joe (Kerekes)."

Kerekes, Cuadra's partner in the escort business and the production of gay pornographic films, maintained that he stayed at the Fox Ridge Inn in Plains Township when Cuadra visited Kocis.

Upon questioning by Cuadra's attorneys, Joseph D'Andrea and Paul Walker,Ryan told the jury that Kerekes was the more dominate person in the relationship, and learned Kerekes had assaulted Cuadra.

Prosecutors are expected to play to the jury today several jailhouse phone calls between Cuadra and Kerekes that were arranged by Renee Martin, a former neighbor in Virginia Beach.

8:22 AM: Harlow Cuadra's seventh day of trial is scheduled to begin shortly. Renee Martin is expected to take the witness stand today, and prosecutors will play several recorded jailhouse conversations she had with Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes. Stay tuned for further updates throughout the day.