Johnathan Porco once helped post bail for his brother Christopher after he was charged with murdering their father.
On Monday, July 24, in a crowded Orange County courtroom, the naval lieutenant told the jury in his brother's murder trial that an ax kept in the family's garage looks similar to the ax used to attack his parents.
You were shown a photograph of the ax, said prosecutor David Rossi.
"Does it look like the ax your parents owned?"
"It looks similar because it had a marking from the local hardware store," said Johnathan Porco.
"Can you describe the ax?" asked Rossi.
"It has a red head and a wooden handle," said Porco.
Christopher Porco is accused of wielding an ax in the middle of the night on Nov. 15, 2004, after driving from Rochester to Albany on the state Thruway and striking his mother and father, Joan and Peter Porco, between 10 and 30 times in the master bedroom of their Brockley Drive, Delmar, home. Peter Porco died from injuries sustained in the ax attack. His wife Joan Porco survived her critical injuries but has no recollection of the crime.
Money, according to prosecutors, is believed to be one of the motives. Christopher Porco forged his father's signature electronically on two loans totaling $48,000 during the summer and fall of 2004 to the dismay of his father, Peter.
"Do you know if you or your brother were beneficiaries of your mother and father's will?" asked Rossi.
"Yes, I did know if either my mother or father died, one of us would be beneficiaries," said Johnathan Porco.
"Was your brother Chris ever a part of these conversations?" Rossi asked.
"Yes, because we would probably talk about it over dinner," said Porco.
Porco explained how a security alarm system was installed in the Brockley Drive home after a burglary during Thanksgiving weekend 2002 and only the immediate family knew the four-digit code.