The pair is charged with the Jan. 24 murder of Cobra Video owner Kocis (aka Brian Phillips), who was found dead after fire crews were called to Kocis’ home in Dallas, Pa.
Motivation for the slaying was an alleged plot to access Cobra Video exclusive model Brent Corrigan (aka Sean Lockhart) so Cuadra and Kerekes could employ Corrigan for their own online productions.
Cuadra and Kerekes will stand trial on charges of homicide, robbery, arson, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy to commit murder.
Both Cuadra and Kerekes claimed innocence as they were led separately from the courtroom.
“It sucks,” Cuadra said as he left the courtroom. “I didn't do it. I didn't kill that man.”
“I was never in that house and I intend to get an expert to prove that,” Kerekes said.
Evidence presented to District Magisterial Judge James E. Tupper during the preliminary hearing included more than 40 graphic photos of the victim Kocis, whose charred body was found stabbed numerous times with his throat slashed.
Surveillance videotape was shown of Cuadra and Kerekes in a gun store, purchasing a gun and a knife. A state policeman testified the knife purchased was capable of inflicting wounds consistent with Kocis’.
The District Attorney also revealed semi-nude photos of Cuadra that were emailed to Kocis; apparently part of a rouse to set up a meeting with Kocis at his home on the day of the murder. In the email, the photos of Cuadra were attached to correspondence from a model who called himself “Danny Moilin.”
A Pennsylvania state trooper recounted the events during testimony, which involved email communications between Kocis and Moilin.
A new email account connected to Cuadra apparently had been created specifically for corresponding with Kocis. The last email communication took place at 7:15 p.m. the evening of the murder, 15 minutes before the meeting was scheduled between Kocis and Moilin.
Email also played a key role in testimony from Kerekes’ defense attorney Joe Necito, who claimed Kerekes was at a motel near Kocis’ home, logged onto his email account and sending messages at the time of the murder.
“So [Kerekes] could have logged in and walked away to do something else, like walk in a house or commit murder?” Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick asked.
“Or he could have been sitting there the whole time?” Necito said during cross-examination.
Pennsylvania State police Cpl. Leo Hannon, who headed the murder investigation, presented further evidence of Cuadra and Kerekes being checked into the motel, but claimed cellphone records showed both men were in the vicinity of the Kocis residence near the time of the murder.
Hannon said also that Cuadra had rented an SUV and that the mileage found on the vehicle was consistent with the distance between the Cuadra-Kerekes home in Virginia to Kocis’ home. Records from a disposable cellphone used by “Danny Moilin” also followed the same route.
Perhaps the most dramatic evidence was testimony from gay film producer named Grant Roy who recounted a taped conversation he had with Cuadra and Kerekes, during a visit to a nude beach in San Diego on April 28.
Corrigan, the Cobra model at the center of the scheme, also was part of the group at the beach that day. Later, Kerekes alleged investigators had hidden “a bug” in Corrigan’s sunglasses, in order to capture the conversation.
Roy stated both Cuadra and Kerekes admitted to doing some reconnaissance on Kocis’ home prior to the murder, and that both indicated they were at the house on the day of the murder.
Though the pair never admitted the murder outright, Roy felt the murder was implied in their conversation.
Roy testified further that Cuadra had expressed his feelings about what had occurred with Kocis.
“[Cuadra] said it went really quick, and he said that [Kocis] never saw it coming,” Roy said. “He said it seemed kind of sick, but he felt like he had got even with [Kocis] in a way. It made him feel good.”
Both men admitted also to destroying most of the property at the scene and that they had even taken a few videos with them, though Cuadra debated keeping a DVD that featured Corrigan.
Cuadra thought it was “too hot and would connect him to the murder,” Roy testified.
District Attorney Melnick said it would take several weeks before a decision from the state on whether or not to pursue the death penalties in each trial.