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Kerekes Pleads Guilty to Kocis Murder

Joseph Kerekes sentenced to life in prison without parole
Kerekes Pleads Guilty to Kocis Murder
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Dec 8, 2008 5:00 PM PST    Text size: 
WILKES-BARRES, Pa. — Joseph Kerekes has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Cobra Video producer Bryan Kocis. He was sentenced to the mandatory life in prison without parole. The plea spared Kerekes from facing the death penalty.

In addition to the murder charge, he pleaded guilty to additional charges of criminal conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence, tampering with physical evidence, and theft.

Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. sentenced Kerekes, 34, to the mandatory life sentence plus a combined 56 to 112 months in state prison, and 24 months probation to be served consecutively to the life sentence.

The additional time is considered a formality to be taken into consideration should Kerekes petition for a pardon at a future date.

Co-defendant Harlow Cuadra, 27, is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 5.

According to one media report, Kerekes stated that “Cuadra had murdered Bryan Kocis and set his home ablaze.”

However, upon entering his plea, Kerekes refused to testify against Cuadra. “I absolutely will not testify for the state case against Harlow,” he told the court.

He additionally apologized to the Kocis family. “We will never forgive nor will we forget what Mr. Kerekes has done to this family,” said Michael Kocis, father of the victim.

Kerekes and Cuadra, both escorts, gay adult producers and website entrepreneurs, are accused of stabbing Kocis to death in January 2007 and setting fire to his Dallas Township, Pa. home.

They were arrested in May 2007 and formally charged two months later.

Police arrested the pair after allegedly finding evidence on Kocis’ computer that managed to survive the fire. Emails presented Cuadra as a new model who arranged to meet Kocis the night of his murder, according to court documents.

Investigators say the motive for Kocis’ murder was that he presented a roadblock between Cuadra and Kerekes working with popular gay star Brent Corrigan, who was under exclusive contract at the time.

Members of the defense and prosecution teams have not released statements as they have been enjoined by the judge from speaking to the press.

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