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Judge Jefferey Berry defers bail decision for Porco

— McDermott said also they have proof the Porco staged a burglary in his home in 2002 and sold a laptop computer on eBay to a customer in San Diego. The computer, given to Joan Porco by Schalmont School district where she was a speech therapist, has been recovered and shown to staff at the school, which vouched that it was hers.

McDermott said there is also proof that Porco has stolen from his employers, Elaine LaForte and John Kearny, who own Bethlehem Animal Hospital in Glenmont, and that he has forged his father, Peter's, identity to obtain a $31,000 loan and also a loan for his jeep.

"While he is uncharged, he is not the person his friends and family believe he is," said McDermott. "He's obviously unconcerned about breaking his family's trust.'

McDermott argued against bail, reasoning that Porco probably stayed in town because fleeing the area would only confirm the suspicions of police.

"Now that he has been indicted, and looking at a sentence of 50 years to life, that is sufficient reason to flee now," said McDermott.

He argued that things are different for him now, that his life is not what it once was.

"His father is dead, his mother is living with relatives in Rochester," he said. "His ties here are tenuous, and he has no financial resources. A life-sentence is very real."

Both sides of the courtroom were filled with friends and supporters of the Porco family. Kindlon read during his testimony some of the letters he has received defending Porco's character and asking what they could do to help. Several letter writers stated that they would post bail for Porco.

"This is unprecedented, and in my 32 years as a lawyer, this has never happened," said Kindlon. "It is a compelling argument for why bail should be granted."

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