Lawyers for Cuadra, Kerekes Ask for Delay of Trial

Joanne Cachapero
Attorneys for suspects Harlow Cuadra and Joesph Kerekes have filed a motion to delay the start of the trial against the pair for the murder of gay adult producer Bryan Kocis.

The trial currently is scheduled to begin March 24.

John Donovan and William Ruzzo, who are public defenders with Luzerne County, are representing Cuadra. Kerekes is represented by court-appointed counsel Mark Bufalino, Shelly Centini and John Pike.

Cuadra’s attorneys filed the motion for the delay, with Kerekes' representatives requesting also from the court for more time to make adequate preparations for trial. Both defense teams have concerns due to limited staffing and resources available to the public defender’s office.

In the event that Cuadra or Kerekes is convicted, preparations must also be made for the penalty phase of the proceedings. Interviews must be gathered from family, friends and associates of the defendants in order to present jurors with character evidence if they are to decide whether either defendant should receive the death penalty.

“We are taking the same position that the trial needs to be pushed back,” Pike said. “There is a tremendous amount of documents to review and it will take a significant amount of time to prepare for this case.”

Donovan and Ruzzo also have filed to extend the deadline for pre-trial motions.

Cuadra’s lawyers said they have received 614 pages of evidence and expect to receive an additional 2,000. There also is six hours of taped conversations between the defendants and gay adult performer Brent Corrigan, aka Sean Lockhart, which is expected to be entered into evidence during the trial.

Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas also has expressed concern over whether or not the public defenders will be prepared to go to trial by the scheduled date.

Cuadra and Kerekes, who co-owned a gay adult production company and website, are accused of murdering Kocis, who was the owner of Cobra Video and employed Corrigan as an exclusive model. The crime allegedly is the result of an elaborate scheme by the defendants to free Corrigan from his contract with Kocis in order for the model to work for them.

A hearing has been schedule for Dec. 21, when trial judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. will decide whether or not prosecutors will need to provide a bill of particulars. If required, the district attorney would have to provide the defense with a written list of details outlined in the case.

Cuadra currently is being held at the Lackawanna County Prison, while Kerekes is jailed at the Luzerne County Prison.