Porco’s appeal options grow slim

Supreme Court will not hear appeal in Delmar murder case

Christopher Porco is placed in handcuffs at his 2006 sentencing.

Christopher Porco is placed in handcuffs at his 2006 sentencing. Spotlight File Photo

— The country’s highest court will not be hearing an appeal of Christopher Porco’s murder conviction, greatly reducing the former Delmar resident’s chances of an overturned verdict.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced on Monday, April 2, that the United States Supreme Court denied a petition to review the 2006 murder conviction. Porco, now 28, was found guilty of murdering his father and attempting to murder his mother inside their former Brockley Street home in Delmar on Nov. 15, 2004.

In March 2010 the Second Department Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the guilty verdict, after an appeal was filed on Porco’s behalf by his attorney, Terence L. Kindlon. The case was then accepted for review by the New York State Court of Appeals and was again affirmed in October 2011.

“At this time we would like to officially close our case against Christopher Porco,” said Soares in a statement. “This defendant was found guilty after jury trial, and this case has been affirmed by both the Appellate Division and the New York State Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear this case clearly shows that the evidence against this defendant was overwhelming and proved his guilt beyond any reasonable doubt, after a fair trial.”

Kindlon said he will petition the court again for a review of the case. He also said he intends to file a writ of habeas corpus application in a U.S. District Court in Albany to argue his client’s conviction was a violation of federal law and should be overturned.

“This is basically a different approach to the review process,” said Kindlon. “Simply stated, we feel duty bound to explore every avenue and this is the next step in the line.”

The appeal has centered on the fact the jury was allowed to hear testimony from police that Joan Porco, then badly injured, had identified Christopher as the assailant with a head nod in response to questions from police. By the time of the trial, Joan Porco claimed no memory of the evening and professed her son's innocence.

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