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Prosecutors expect to call last witness Monday

— As the murder trial of Christopher Porco enters its fifth week, a verdict may not be that far off the horizon.

Chief Prosecutor Michael McDermott expects the people's last witness will be called on Monday, July 31.

Monday there should be only two or three witnesses, said McDermott. "I believe we will be done with everybody else by Friday."

Witnesses expected to testify for the prosecution this week include Det. Christopher Bowdish from the Bethlehem police department. In pre-trial hearings, Bowdish testified that Joan Porco nodded "yes" when asked if her son Christopher committed the attacks on her and her husband Peter Porco at their Brockley Drive home in Delmar.

The last witness for the prosecution will be a neighbor of the Porcos when they lived at 36 Brockley Drive. He is expected to testify that as he was driving to work early Monday morning, Nov. 15, 2004, he saw a yellow Jeep Wrangler parked in the Porco's driveway.

DNA evidence on a Thruway toll ticket prosecutors believe is Christopher Porco's will be presented to jurors. McDermott asked Judge Jeffrey Berry if Assistant Attorney General Robert Biancavilla from the state Attorney General's office could be temporarily sworn in as an assistant Albany County district attorney to handle the testimony of DNA experts to appear. Biancavilla is considered to be an expert legal mind in the field of mitochondrial DNA.

"Since the two have you have been charged with the case, you two will do the cross examination," ruled Judge Jeffrey Berry, referring to McDermott and Assistant District Attorney David Rossi, who are prosecuting the case.

"I guess the judge feels he is a 'ringer' so we are going to do it," said McDermott.

Dr. Terry Melton, of State College, Pa., is the prosecution's DNA expert who will testify. Melton has several years of experience in the handling of human mitochondrial DNA, and more than 10 years of experience in forensic mitochondrial DNA analysis. Prosecutors believe the DNA on a toll ticket they examined after the crime matches one that Christopher Porco allegedly handed to toll collectors.

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