Public waits for evidence ruling

— Another new key piece of evidence is a toll ticket that prosecutors believe matches the ticket Porco used to drive from Rochester to Albany and back the night of the murder. In a year and a half time span, the ticket has traveled from the Rochester toll booth to the Albany Thruway Authority Headquarters, to a State Police lab for DNA testing back to the Bethlehem Police Department where it sat sealed in an evidence room before reappearing in a lab in Pennsylvania for more DNA testing this year. Initial DNA tests were not conclusive but a later mitochondrial DNA test matches Porco's fingerprints, according to prosecutors. Mitochondrial DNA links people to their mothers.

Kindlon is alleging that the late Anthony Arduini, a police detective with the Bethlehem Department, tampered with the toll ticket evidence by showing it to potential witnesses working at the Thruway Authority while investigating the crime.

"I don't want to sound like some wild-eyed conspiracy theorist but sometimes evidence gets planted," Kindlon told the judge. "We have grave concerns that Det. Arduini may have contaminated that ticket with DNA he had from Christopher's shirt."

The shirt Porco was wearing was taken as evidence the night police questioned him.

The reason Kindlon believes this is because Porco dated both of Arduini's daughters and was dating the younger daughter at the time of the attack.

"We know that the morning of the murder Det. Arduini went directly to Bethlehem High School to see if his youngest daughter Chelsea hadn't run away with Christopher," said Kindlon.

Arduini recently died and Assistant D.A. McDermott called Kindlon's allegations "reprehensible."

"Det. Arduini had nothing to do with that ticket," McDermott said.

Another key piece of evidence witnessed by four people the morning after the attacks is that Joan Porco may have nodded "Yes' when asked by police whether her son Christopher had committed the crime. That evidence along with other circumstantial evidence involving Christopher Porco's financial affairs and prior robberies of the Porco family home leading up to the attacks, is considered key for the prosecution.

Jury selection begins in Orange County on June 26 and the trial begins immediately after the jury is seated. The trial was moved out of Albany County because of a crush of pre-trial publicity. The anticipated extra costs to Albany County because of the trial being moved is expected to be around $300,000.

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