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Convicted of Murdering Company Owner Bryan Kocis, Lawsuit trial may be next for Kerekes and Cuadra

WILKES-BARRE, Pa – from – Two men convicted of murder serving life sentences in state prison may face trial again, this time to determine damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Harlow Cuadra, 28, and Joseph Kerekes, 36, will appear via video at a hearing next week regarding a lawsuit filed by the father of Bryan Kocis, whom Cuadra and Kerekes are charged with killing in January 2007.

The lawsuit, filed in January 2008 by Kocis’ father, Michael Kocis, says Cuadra and Kerekes entered Kocis’ Dallas Township house and “jointly” or “separately” caused Bryan Kocis’ death and destroyed the house and property on Midland Drive.

Prosecutors have said Kocis, 44, was the duo’s rival in the gay pornography industry. Kocis was stabbed to death before his house was set on fire, prosecutors said.

The lawsuit was settled in April 2008 when neither Cuadra nor Kerekes responded to the suit, leading to a default judgment entered in favor of the estate.

The hearing set for March 26 is for attorneys to discuss pre-trial matters for a yet-to-be-scheduled trial to determine the damages.

Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury will hear the case.

In court papers filed last week, Michael Kocis’ attorneys, Conrad Falvello and Steven Smith, said the house in which Bryan Kocis lived cost about $180,900, while the personal property inside totaled about $153,000.

The attorneys also said Bryan Kocis made about $134,436 per year in income.

Cuadra, of Virginia, was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Luzerne County jury and sentenced to life in prison March 2009. He is appealing.

Kerekes, also of Virginia, pleaded guilty in December 2008 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.


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