It’s not the trial of the century, but the murder case of porn producer Bryan Kocis is nearing its end, where Harlow Cuadra stands accused of murdering the adult film impresario just to get wonderkid Brent Corrigan on his roster. And now, both prosecution and defense have rested, and Cuadra’s fate is in the hands of jurors. If convicted? He faces death.
Cuadra’s former lover and business partner, 35-year-old Joseph Kerekes, already is serving life after pleading guilty to second degree murder in a deal with prosecutors last December.
The prosecution maintains that Kocis was murdered by Cuadra and Kerekes because of a business rivalry in the lucrative gay porn industry. In closing arguments, defense attorney Joseph D’Andrea told the jury that Cuadra was guilty of nothing more than being at Kocis’ home during the murder and that it was Kerekes who committed the killing.
Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick, in his summation, told the court that he agreed that Kerekes is a murderer but that Cuadra played a “predominant role in this homicide.” Prior to closing arguments, Melnick grilled Cuadra on the stand for two hours, attempting to pick apart his testimony that he is innocent.
Step by step, Melnick went over the evidence gathered in wiretaps and statements to police in which he discussed his involvement in the murder of the Cobra Video owner. Several times Cuadra broke down in tears, but stuck to his story that it was Kerekes not him who murdered Kocis.
“He pleaded guilty to murder,” Cuadra said. “I did not. For two years, I have held on to my innocence.” [365 Gay]