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Move To Separate Trials Of Pair Accused In Bryan Kocis Murder

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania- The lawyer for one of two men accused of killing gay porn producer Bryan Kocis in 2006 has asked the court for a separate trial for his client after the second man allegedly made incriminating statements in jail.

Joseph Kerekes, 34, and Harlow Cuadra, 26, are charged with murder, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

Cuadra’s lawyer has filed a motion saying that remarks allegedly made by Karekes to a fellow prisoner could prejudice Cuadra’s right to a fair trial.

The motion also asks for a change in venue for the trial citing pretrial publicity that could make it impossible to find an impartial jury.

Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. has not indicated when he might issue a decision on the motion.

Jury selection is slated to begin on September 2, but if Olszewski decides to split the trial that could be delayed.

Kerekes and Cuadra are being held in separate jails awaiting trial.

Last week the prosecution filed papers with the court containing a confession made by Kerekes to a fellow prisoner.

The filing alleges that Joseph Kerekes told one cellmate that he and Harlow Cuadra plotted to kill “a dude” in order to gain the movie rights to a porn star that was under contract to Kocis’ Cobra Video.

The papers submitted to the court allege that Kerekes told the cellmate that Cuadra stabbed Kocis 17 times and that together they slit his throat.

Kerekes is quoted as saying they then looted the rural home looking for the contract.

The court papers claim that Kerekes told the cellmate and other prisoners that there was so much blood they could not clean it up and decided to set the house on fire.

He also allegedly told the inmates who he used his cell phone and computer to try to create an alibi.

When Kocis’ body was discovered by firefighters more than 80 percent of the body was covered by third-degree burns.

Homicide detectives were able to find Kocis’ computer in the charred remains of the rural home and forensics scientists salvaged and reconstructed part of the hard drive.

On the hard drive they found a photograph of a man who was to have had an appointment with Kocis the night he was killed.

The picture came with the name “Drake” and police at the time said it could be a nickname or his last name.

Several days after the picture was released the Times Leader newspaper found a Virginia beach escort who said he was the subject of photograph that that it was a head shot that he uses for publicity purposes, that he had never heard of a “Drake” and that he was working in Virginia the night Kocis was killed. (story)

He declined at the time to give his last name but said his first name was Harlow.

It was then that police began collecting evidence on Cuadra. He and Kerekes, said to be his lover, were arrested in May without incident.

When the pair became suspects in the murder Virginia Beach police and the FBI began their own investigation into the men and started looking into their business.

In July Cuadra and Kerekes were charged in Virginia with racketeering, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to receive money from the earnings of prostitution.

The pair made a plea agreement in which they pleaded no contest and allowed police in Virginia to seize their assets.

The men claim to be indigent and are represented in their criminal case by the public defenders office.


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