Soto said he refused to help and went to bed. He later heard Elliott making telephone calls and talking to someone who arrived at their apartment about 3 a.m., he said. Elliott and the visitor, whom Soto could not identify, left about 30 minutes later, Soto said.
Authorities contend that Elliott, after refusals by Soto and Scott Polk, 23, another friend, sought out a cousin, Scott Alan Stocklin, 24, of West Kensington, with whom he allegedly carried out the slaying.
Maggie Snow, an assistant Bucks County district attorney, announced during the hearing in front of District Justice Catherine Marks that the state would seek the death penalty if Elliott and Stocklin are convicted.
Marks ordered the suspects held without bail for arraignment today in Bucks County Court.
Under questioning by Snow, Soto said Elliott was ``ranting and raving'' when he arrived at their home. Under cross-examination by Elliott's attorney, Samuel Stretton, Soto said Elliott expected his help because Rebuck allegedly had sexually assaulted one of Soto's relatives years before.
``I had confronted [Rebuck] at the time and told him that if he touched my [relative], I would kill him,'' Soto testified. He added that his relative denied that the attack had occurred.
Polk testified that he had been drinking with Elliott the night before the slaying and was present when Rebuck spoke to Elliott at the Fireside Tavern in Feasterville.
Police contend that after a brief conversation at the tavern, Elliott went to Rebuck's house, where the sexual advance was said to have occurred, leading to Rebuck's slaying. Rebuck's badly beaten and stabbed body was found about 7 p.m. Oct. 25 on a blood-soaked couch in his Chestnut Avenue home by a nephew, Mark Rebuck, who also testified.
Polk testified that he received a call early Thursday from Elliott, seeking his help to ``bash somebody's head in'' but that Elliott wouldn't say who.
Polk said he refused and called Rebuck ``to ask him if he knew what was going on.'' Asked by Stretton why he would do that, Polk replied, ``Because when there was a problem we would usually talk to James Rebuck about it.'' Elliott later admitted the murder to him, Polk testified.
Bensalem Detective David Rouland testified that Stocklin had admitted his involvement in the murder.