Harlow Cuadra has been sentenced to life in prison in a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania courtroom this afternoon for the January 2007 murder of Bryan Kocis.
Harlow Cuadra will serve life in prison, after the jury of eight men and four women could not reach a unanimous decision whether prosecution presented any aggravating factors worthy of the death penalty.
Credit: Story broke at 4:45 pm EDT CitizensVoice.com
The same jury that convicted Cuadra Thursday of first-degree homicide for Bryan Kocis’ January 2007 murder at his Dallas Township reached an impasse today. The jury deliberated for about five and a half hours before telling count Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. they could not reach a unanimous verdict despite being given more time by the judge.
The jury returned to the courtroom around 2:30 to tell Olszewski they agreed one of the factors wasn’t valid, but had reach an impasse on the other.
Olszewski instructed jurors to try and reach a unanimous decision. The jury foreman didn’t specify which of the two aggravating factors they were undecided.
Cuadra was found guilty of killing Kocis last week. Cuadra’s former lover and business partner, 35-year-old Joseph Kerekes, already is serving life after pleading guilty last December to second degree murder after making a deal with prosecutors.
Cuadra and Kerekes saw Kocis as a business competitor; the pair wanted Brent Corrigan who at the time was under contract with Kocis.
Kocis’ body was discovered in his home by firefighters responding to a blaze in the rural house in January 2007. More than 80 percent of his body was covered by third-degree burns and police said the fire had been set deliberately to destroy evidence.
An autopsy found that Kocis died of massive blood loss after his head was nearly sliced off. He suffered between 28 and 29 post mortem stab wounds before his home was torched.