Supreme Court declines Porco Appeal

Reported by: Julie Tremmel

Videographer: M. Jackson
Editor: M. Jackson
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Updated: 4/03/2012 3:04 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition filed by Christopher Porco’s defense attorney that could have eventually re-opened the 2004 murder case.


In 2006 Porco was sentenced to spend 50 years to life in prison for murdering his father, and nearly killing his mother in Delmar.
 
Defense Attorney Terry Kindlon, says it's not over 'til it's over.
 
"A criminal defense lawyer cannot call himself or herself a criminal defense lawyer if he or she gives up easily," Kindlon said.
 
But District Attorney David Soares says Kindlon can file appeal after appeal with whatever court he wants, he and his office still believe the evidence and testimony presented at trial said it all, and the jury agreed.
 
"The Porco case has been over, and is over. And the Supreme Court's decision today not to hear the case, pretty much seals the fate of the case. We've move on in the D.A.'s office and I think the community at large has moved on too," Soares said.
 
Porco was found guilty of using an ax to murder his father, and attempt to kill his mother as they slept in their Delmar home.
 
But on Monday, Porco's defense attorney got some bad news. Kindlon had been hoping the U.S. Supreme Court would agree with him, ruling that Christopher's mother Joan Porco's head nod that seemed to implicate Christopher was inadmissible in court.
 
"My client is not guilty. He was wrongfully convicted, and it's a real tragedy that he is in the position that he's in. but as I say, we'll never give up," Kindlon said.
 
So, Kindlon has vowed to continue the fight. He'll soon be filing a writ of habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
 
"As long as there's breath in my body, I will pursue justice for this defendant, and there's always one more thing that can be done," Kindlon said.
 
But as far as Soares is concerned, this case is closed.
 
"For Mr. Kindlon to continue to harp on the head nod, as if that was the thing, the one fact that our entire case hinged on, is just to make light of the entire case that was put on by the people," Soares said.
 
Soares says he has more proof that the head nod was not the deciding factor.
 
"The jury in Orange County agreed with us, and as a matter of fact, when the jurors in orange county had been polled they didn't place much weight in the head nod," Soares said.
 
Around Bethlehem, people are still quite familiar with the high profile case.
 
Kim Panaro of Delmar said, "And I just hope that, if he's innocent, which, I kind of don't think he is, that if he was innocent, that that would come true, and if he's guilty he should pay the price for the rest of his life, for sure, because his father certainly has, and his mother certainly has."
 
John Husson of Troy said, "People ought to have as many appeals as the law allows, it's kind of a waste of taxpayer money, but then again you can say that about a lot of things. The courts have to do whatever they have to do, but my opinion is that he's guilty."
 
Kindlon says he tried to contact his client Christopher Porco in prison on Monday afternoon but was unable to get a hold of him.
 
Kindlon did, however get news of the U.S. Supreme Court's petition denial to Porco's counselor, so the defense attorney was sure his client was aware of the decision, and the upcoming appeal with a New York District Court.
 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a former college student convicted of killing his father and attacking his mother with an ax in their suburban Albany home.
 
Christoper Porco, now 28, is serving 46 years to life in prison for murder and attempted murder.
 
He was convicted of the 2004 attack that killed Peter Porco, a 52-year-old law clerk, and left Joan Porco severely disfigured with no memory of the incident.
 
Defense attorney Terence Kindlon challenged as prejudicial hearsay the police testimony that severely injured Joan Porco nodded "yes" when asked if Christopher was the attacker.
 
New York appeals courts upheld the convictions.
 
District Attorney P. David Soares says Monday's decision shows the evidence proved Porco guilty after a fair trial.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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