UPDATE: Court rejects Porco’s appeal for new trial

The state Court of Appeals today denied Christopher Porco a new trial after he was convicted in 2006

Christopher Porco of Delmar has lost an appeal of his 2006 conviction on the 2004 murder of his father after justices with New York’s highest court found more than enough evidence to prove his guilt.

All six state Court of Appeals judges who heard the case agreed his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser were not violated by the jury learning of a nod his mother made to investigators as she lay mortally wounded. Instead, they found the other evidence in the case to be overwhelming.

“The evidence of this staged break-in was unique and highly probative of defendant’s identity as the perpetrator of the crimes for which he was being tried, where the family home was likewise staged to make it appear as though his parents had been victimized by a stranger,” they wrote in the six-page memorandum released this morning. “But as the jury learned … it was not possible to disarm the system or obliterate the record of the master code’s use … by damaging the keypad.”

Defense attorney Terence Kindlon tried to convince the justices that Joan Porco’s head nod was the linchpin that Albany County prosecutors used to hold their case. He argued the mother’s serious trauma from the ax attack prohibited her from remembering the nod she made to a Bethlehem police detective when he asked if her son Christopher had perpetrated the attack.

Joan Porco was severely maimed and left for dead in the couple’s bedroom; the ax was found discarded nearby. Peter Porco was found in the blood-covered portico of the home, having died of massive head injuries sustained from the ax. Due to the publicity surrounding the case, Christopher Porco’s trial was moved to Orange County in June 2006. After more than a month of testimony, he was convicted on both counts. Now 28, Christopher Porco is serving 46 years to life at the state’s Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, a maximum security prison outside Plattsburgh. He is not eligible for parole until 2052.

Categories: Schenectady County

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