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Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty in Kocis Murder Case

Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty in Kocis Murder Case
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Oct 5, 2007 11:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
WILKES-BARRE, Penn. — Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas on Monday filed a motion to seek the death penalty against gay adult producers Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, as the pair prepare to go on trial for the murder of rival producer Bryan Kocis.

Cuadra and Kerekes allegedly carried out a plan in January to murder Cobra Video owner Kocis in a dispute over one of Kocis’ exclusive models, Brent Corrigan, aka Sean Lockhart. Kocis was stabbed multiple times and his body was discovered in his home by firefighters after the house had been set ablaze.

Lupas said that because the alleged arson posed “grave risk of death to another person,” the case would qualify as a capital murder trial.

Cuadra and Kerekes were scheduled to be arraigned yesterday. At the Thursday hearing, the pair denied killing Kocis and Cuadra alleged that two other men involved in the gay adult industry commited the murder.

At a preliminary hearing in August, Judge James E. Tupper viewed evidence and listened to testimony over the course of two days to determine if Cuadra and Kerekes would stand trial.

Prosecutors at the time presented more than 40 crime scene photos of Kocis’ body, as well as cellphone and email evidence to support their case. Security video of Cuadra and Kerekes purchasing a hunting knife at a gun store also was shown. Gay producer Grant Roy also testified about a discussion that he had with Cuadra and Kerekes during an April trip to a nude beach in San Diego.

“[Cuadra said] it went really quick, and he said that [Kocis] never saw it coming,” Roy said during testimony. “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.”

Corrigan also was present at the beach, and in a later jailhouse interview Kerekes accused federal authorities of concealing a listening device in Corrigan’s sunglasses, enabling them to record the conversation.

Cuadra has said that he and Kerekes have had to sell their production company, BoyBatter.com, in order to pay for legal defense. They both also have tried to sell their homes to raise funds.

On Cuadra’s blog, FreeHarlowCuadra.com http://www.freeharlowcuadra.com/index.html , he also is selling various items including clothing emblazoned with an image of Cuadra and a “Free Harlow Cuadra” logo. There also is an auction area where visitors can bid on a hot tub, Cuadra’s underwear and an opportunity for an exclusive interview with Cuadra and Kerekes.

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