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Porco appeal moves to state's highest court

— Lawyers representing Christopher Porco have filed papers seeking to reverse his 2006 conviction for taking an ax to his parents as they slept in their Delmar home, murdering his father and severely wounding his mother.

The appeal was submitted Friday, Jan. 21, to the highest court in the state, and Terence Kindlon, Porco's attorney, said if he fails to secure a reversal there he'll file to have the U.S. Supreme Court consider it.

Kindlon is continuing to focus on a nod given by Joan Porco on the night of the attack. As she lay gravely injured in the home Bethlehem police asked her if it was Christopher who committed the crime and she nodded in the affirmative, the prosecution said. At the trial, however, Joan said she had no recollection of the attack.

Kindlon said this effectively denies his client the right to face his accuser.

The fact is that the only person who is accusing Christopher in this case directly is Joan Porco, not by anything she said at trial, but by what a police officer claims she did while lying grievously injured in a pool of blood, he said.

"All we know is a police officer asked her a question, and a police officer said she shook her head," Kindlon added. "We have no idea of what that nod meant."

Prosecutors also tried to trace Porco's whereabouts leading up to the attack, arguing he left the University of Rochester and traveled to Delmar to commit the crime, then raced back. The appeal describes this and other evidence as circumstantial.

An appeal was argued in a lower court last year, and Porco's conviction was upheld.

Albany County prosecutors will now file a response to the appeal, probably sometime in March. Depending of the Court of Appeals' schedule, the case could see a hearing in May or June.

Porco is serving a 50 years to life sentence."

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