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Bryan Kocis Murder trial: Gym owner testifies Harlow Cuadra was strong, worked out daily

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania- Harlow Cuadra was very strong for his size in January 2007 and worked out almost daily, the owner of a gym in Virginia Beach, Va., testified this morning.

Lance Threadway, who owns the Big House Gym where Cuadra and his partner Joseph Kerekes worked out, verified records.

Although he was smaller than Kerekes, Cuadra lifted about as much weight as Kerekes, Threadway testified in the eighth day of testimony in Cuadra’s capital homicide trial.

Cuadra, 27, is accused of killing Bryan Kocis at his Dallas Township home on Jan. 24, 2007, because Kocis was a rival gay pornography producer. Kerekes, 35, who pleaded guilty in December to second-degree homicide, co-owned a male escort and gay pornography business with Cuadra in Virginia Beach.

In the days surrounding Jan. 24, 2007, neither Cuadra nor Kerekes checked in at the gym. It wasn’t until Jan. 27 that either man returned to his daily workouts, Threadway said.

During cross-examination of witnesses, Cuadra’s attorneys have tried to present Cuadra as the weaker partner, submissive to Kerekes. Attorney Joseph D’Andrea hinted during opening statements that Cuadra was too weak to physically stab Kocis, 44, and slash his throat.

Jurors watched a short video showing a shirtless Cuadra lifting weights at Big House Gym. Threadway testified Cuadra could lift more weight than shown in the video and was about equal in strength to Kerekes.

Seven other prosecution witnesses testified this morning. Luzerne County Detective Lt. Gary Capitano testified to taking writing samples of both Cuadra and Kerekes when the two men were jailed. Prosecution has already submitted several letters from Cuadra to various friends asking for help with an alibi. Capitano’s testimony was to support the prosecution’s case that Cuadra had in fact written those letters.


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