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Defense: not enough to convict

Photos from the 2006 Christopher Porco murder Trial. The trial was moved from Albany County to the Orange County town of Goshen.

Photos from the 2006 Christopher Porco murder Trial. The trial was moved from Albany County to the Orange County town of Goshen. Phil Kamrass/ Pool Photo

Shanks then spoke about the nod that Joan Porco made to paramedics and police officers in the upstairs master bedroom when they found her lying in a pool of blood with several critical injuries. Bethlehem Det. Christopher Bowdish testified that Joan Porco nodded yes when asked if her son Christopher had committed the crime.

"She lost a tremendous amount of blood, her skull was split open, one eye was severed, blood covered her face and the fact is that Joan Porco was asleep at the time she was attacked," said Shanks.

Shanks characterized Bethlehem Police Det. Christopher Bowdish as having a "hunch" Christopher Porco had committed the crime when Joan Porco nodded her head at the scene.

"There was no way of knowing if she was conscious or unconscious," said Shanks. "Can we base an entire investigation on this and nothing else?"

Shanks reminded jurors about a charge Judge Jeffrey Berry often gives, not to speculate, asking them if they really believe Joan Porco's answers to officers at the scene are reliable or not.

"Instead of talking to a neurologist they put out a Bolo (Be on the lookout) and within 30 minutes, Det. (Anthony) Arduini is at Dr. (Elaine) LaForte's hospital saying it doesn't look good for Chris," said Shanks.

Shanks said the police were ready to call for helicopters and ask for backup from state police to find Porco, but instead they received a surprise.

"He calls them from his dorm room and says I got a call saying my parents are dead," Shanks said. "Imagine what it would be like to admit you may have solved the worst crime to ever be committed in Bethlehem, and you put that word out with no evidence."

Christopher Porco was 21 years old when the crimes against his father and mother were committed. The defense believes the prosecution is painting Porco as someone slick enough to be able to commit murder and leave behind no fingerprints, no blood marks, and no physical evidence.

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