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Bryan Kocis Murder Trial: Jurors hear conversation between Harlow Cuadra, Kocis business partners

Wilkes barre, Pa- Jurors in the Harlow Cuadra capital homicide trial began listening this morning to the first of two recorded conversations Cuadra and his business partner, Joseph Kerekes, had with two other men regarding the death of Bryan Kocis.

The recording of an April 27, 2007 meeting between Cuadra, Kerekes and Grant Roy [pictured] and Sean Lockhart, takes place primarily at the Crab Catcher restaurant in San Diego, Calif. The recording lasts about three hours. Jurors listened to the first 30 minutes of the tape before breaking for lunch and are expected to listen to the remaining portion when they return.

Roy, who was business partners with Lockhart, a well-known gay pornography star, took the stand this morning in the fifth day of testimony. Lockhart and Roy were cooperating with police in the investigation of the killing of Kocis at his Dallas Township home in Jan. 24, 2007.

Cuadra, 27, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree homicide in Kocis’ stabbing death. Kerekes, 35, Cuadra’s former partner of gay pornography and male escort businesses in Viginia Beach, Va., pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide. He is serving a life sentence.

Roy was wearing a recording device when he and Lockhart met the two Virginia Beach men. Cuadra and Kerekes came to San Diego, Roy testified, to try to cement a deal where Cuadra and Lockhart would act in pornographic films together.

In the first 30 minutes of the tape, jurors heard Roy and police testing the recording equipment. Lockhart and Roy are also heard driving to meet Kerekes and Cuadra and some idle introductory conversations when they pick up Cuadra and Kerekes at their hotel. Jurors are wearing headphones and following a transcript of testimony.

County Judge Peter Paul Olszewksi Jr. told jurors testimony will resume at 1:15 p.m. and will likely continue past 4:30 p.m. today until Roy’s testimony is finished.

Roy testified today that he made it clear during his first meeting with Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes that he wanted no one to harm Bryan Kocis.

Roy and his partner Sean Lockhart, who were involved in a highly publicized legal dispute with Kocis, met Cuadra and Kerkes at a dinner meeting in a Las Vegas restaurant in early January 2007, Roy testified.

Five witnesses, including Roy, were called today by prosecution in the fifth day of testimony.

“I told them ‘If something happened to Bryan, they’re going to show up at my door the next day. If something happened to either one of us they’re going to show up at his door the next day,’” Roy said.

Cuadra, 27, and Kerkes, 35, owned an escort and gay pornography business in Virginia Beach, Va. They were meeting with Roy and Lockhart in hopes of forming a business relationship where Cuadra and Lockhart would act in films together, Roy said.

“Harlow and both Joe seemed a little eager to get this production under way,” Roy said. “I didn’t see the need to rush. At various times, I expressed to them I didn’t think it’d be a problem if we could get out from this mediation (with Kocis).”

Roy said a settlement between Lockhart and Kocis was nearly finished.The settlement would allow Lockhart to act again under his screen name Brent Corrigan. Because the settlement was still being negotiated, Roy said, he couldn’t reveal that information to Cuadra or Kerekes. But as the seven-course dinner progressed, he said, both men were drinking excessively and became more insistent.

“(Kerekes) said, ‘Harlow has this guy who will do anything for him,’” Roy testified. Roy said he took this statement to mean murder.

Roy’s testimony was stopped for a brief recess. When jurors return, prosecutors are expected to play a taped conversation Roy had with Cuadra and Kerekes at a nude beach near San Diego in April 2007, when Cuadra discusses Kocis’ death.

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