One Step Closer Toward Verdict in Porco Murder Trial
Jurors will begin deliberations today to determine whether Christopher Porco is innocent or guilty.
Twenty-two days of testimony and it all comes down to this; the fate of accused killer Christopher Porco handed to a jury.
Attorneys on both sides of the Porco trial made their final cases to the jury Wednesday. Jurors spent the day hearing closing arguments, first from the defense and then the prosecution.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations today, on whether 22-year-old Christopher Porco killed his father and attacked his mother with an ax back in November 2004.
NEWS10's Jeff Stoecker spent Wednesday in the courtroom listening in along with the jury, and has our continuing coverage from Goshen.
It is their last chance to convince jurors of Christopher Porco's innocence or guilt.
Defense Attorney Laurie Shanks started in right away on what the defense maintains was a shotty investigation by Bethlehem Police.
"Detective Bowdish believed it was okay to come to the conclusion first, to publicize the conclusion, to brag that he had solved the case, and then to get the evidence because he was sure it was going to be there," Shanks said.
And Shanks was critical of the first piece of evidence that pointed to Christopher Porco; head-nods and hand gestures by Joan Porco, after she lay in bed bleeding for hours with several ax wounds to her head.
Shanks said, "if there was a neurologist in America who would say that Joan Porco could have been questioned, should have been questioned, and that their answers were reliable, we would have seen that doctor from this witness stand."
"She was nodding her head, she was using her fingers to express to the police who had committed this terrible crime," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael McDermott.
McDermott walked the jury through the timeline of what they believed happened that night. They put Christopher Porco in his parents home, disabling the alarm with the master code at 2:14 am, the morning of the attack.
"Using the master code to disarm the alarm when he went to his parents house that morning, ladies and gentlemen, was like dropping his wallet at the crime scene," McDermott said.
McDermott reminded jurors of Porco's fraternity brothers from the University of Rochester, who testified Christopher told them he was asleep in the dormitory lounge that night.
Christopher told the same story to his uncle, and his roommate in an online conversation that McDermott read aloud:
"Dude, please just tell me you were somewhere Sunday night into Monday morning...I don't care where, just tell me you're going to be fine."
"I'll be fine dude. I was on the hall, the cops know that."
Other friends testified they were in the lounge that night until 4 am and Christopher Porco was not there.
McDermott told the jury, "who would be closer than your own brother...and what did he tell his own brother. He told his own brother the same story, I slept on the couch in the lounge."
"They want you to pick out facts out of context and string them together," Shanks told the jury. "They want you to ignore anything that doesn't fit, they want you to spin everything in the light most damaging to Christopher."
"There are two inferences which you could reasonably make," McDermott said to the jury. "One, is that Christopher Porco is guilty. Or number two, that Christopher Porco is the un-luckiest man on the face of the planet."
Closing arguments started late and they ran long, so jurors were not given their charge. That will happen this morning. It is also when they will begin deliberations to determine whether Christopher Porco is innocent or guilty.
Stay with NEWS10 for continuing coverage of the Porco trial. NEWS10 will stay in Goshen to cover the deliberations. We will break in with the verdict, if and when one is reached.
And with the case now headed to the jury, here at NEWS10, we want to know how you feel about the case. We have set up a poll here on our website. We want to know what do you believe will be the jury's verdict for Christopher Porco: guilty or not guilty. Check out the left-hand side of our site, underneath the navigation buttons, for the poll. We will bring you the results Thursday night on NEWS10 at 6.
**Due to restrictions imposed by the judge, we are unable to post any video clips from the closing arguments on our website**
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