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Defense calls first witness; Porco godmother takes the stand

"That's correct," said Fennell.

Fennell told McDermott she had occasional contact with Joan Porco throughout 2004, and sometimes they would talk about Johnathan and Christopher, Joan Porco's two sons.

"Did Mrs. Porco ever complain to you Chris was not communicating with her in the fall of 2004 up until the day Peter Porco was murdered?" asked McDermott.

"I really can't recall," Fennell said.

"Did she ever tell you Peter Porco was having a nervous breakdown?" said McDermott.

"Objection, Your Honor," Shanks requested.

"Sustained," said Judge Jeffrey Berry.

Fennell told jurors she never saw anyone in the Porco family ever act violent. Under more questioning from McDermott, Fennell said she was at the Porco home in November 2002 to celebrate Thanksgiving just after the Porcos had been burglarized.

"Do you remember Christopher Porco being there?" asked McDermott.

"Yes," said Fennell.

"Did they seem concerned that someone broke into their house?" McDermott said.

Fennell said the family seemed "scared."

Lynn Polster, a longtime family friend and wife of Joan Porco's attorney John Polster, was the second witness for the defense. Polster testified that her family and the Porco family were very close, and that Christopher and Johnathan Porco were extremely kind friends to her foster child, Fred, now an adult.

"Chris and Fred would fish together, and they would go hiking together," said Polster.

Polster echoed Fennell's remarks that she never saw any violence inside the Porco home.

Polster said she found out about the attacks at 36 Brockley Drive that afternoon from her husband, followed by several radio and TV reports.

"They were saying Chris did this, and I called my husband and said I can't believe this, what are we going to do," said Polster.

Polster then went to Albany Medical Center to see Joan Porco, and observed Christopher Porco, who was also there.

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