WILKES-BARRE – Grant Roy, a producer of gay adult films, admits he had motive to kill Bryan Kocis.
Their battle started with Kocis filing a lawsuit in February 2006 against Roy and his business partner and adult film actor Sean Lockhart. The lawsuit, Roy said, prevented him and Lockhart from making money producing adult films.
Fighting back, Roy set up a blog he called Cobra Killer and criticized Kocis and his production company Cobra Video.
After Kocis was murdered in his Dallas Township home on Jan. 24, 2007, Roy assumed that he and Lockhart would be prime suspects.
Roy obtained a criminal defense lawyer who advised him to cooperate with investigators. During one of six meetings with investigators, Roy admitted he wanted Kocis dead.
Roy’s statements came on Tuesday, the sixth day of the Luzerne County capital murder trial of Harlow Cuadra.
Investigators alleged Cuadra, 27, and his partner, Joseph Kerekes, 35, killed Kocis because they wanted to work with Lockhart, a contract actor for Cobra Video.
Two former adult film actors testified last week that Cuadra and Kerekes considered Kocis their main rival in the industry.
Kerekes pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and is serving life in prison without parole. Cuadra could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree homicide.
Roy was on the defensive, reluctantly answering questions from Cuadra’s attorneys, Joseph D’Andrea and Paul Walker. Several times during their exchange, Roy objected to D’Andrea’s questions, claiming his answers would be speculation.
D’Andrea reviewed transcripts of two recorded conversations Roy and Lockhart had with Cuadra and Kerekes on April 27 and April 28, 2007, near San Diego.
Roy agreed to wear a recording device when he invited Cuadra and Kerekes to California to discuss filming movies involving Cuadra and Lockhart. Prosecutors alleged Cuadra and Lockhart made several admissions to Kocis’ killing during the recorded conversations.
“Nowhere in any of the recordings does it say that my client killed Mr. Kocis,” D’Andrea said to Roy.
“The context of the conversation was Harlow was in the house when Bryan was killed,” Roy said.
Not happy with Roy’s response, D’Andrea fired back, offering to sit for a week to allow Roy to find in the transcripts where Cuadra admitted to killing Kocis.
“It doesn’t,” Roy said.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick responded that Cuadra described two different times when Kocis was killed – when the doorbell rang and when Kocis answered his telephone.
D’Andrea said Kerekes was “pressuring” Roy and Lockhart into filming adult movies. Kerekes would ask when and where, and offered Roy and Lockhart $1,000 a month for two years.
“(Cuadra and Kerekes) were trying to press ways into working with us; to pay us under the table,” Roy said.
Prosecutors are expected to show the jury this week several alibi plans Cuadra and Kerekes allegedly made up while they were jailed, including the “For Your Eyes Only” letter Cuadra allegedly wrote to Nep Maliki on June 13, 2007.
Maliki was a customer of an escort business Cuadra and Kerekes operated in Virginia.
In the letter, Cuadra advised Maliki to tell investigators that he was with him in Virginia Beach, Va., the night Kocis was killed.