Grand Jury testimony and the investigation into the murder of 52-year-old Peter Porco and the attack on his 54-year-old wife, Joan Porco, continued last Friday and yesterday, with representatives of the District Attorney’s office saying any indication of a resulting indictment are speculation.
Joan Porco’s condition has been steadily improving since her admission to an Intensive Care Unit after the discovery was made by police on Nov. 15. She is currently in Sunnyview Rehabilitation Center in Niskayuna.
Close to 20 witnesses of varying backgrounds and ties to the case have testified to the grand jury for four full-day sessions at the Albany County Courthouse, though Assistant District Attorney Dave Rossi couldn’t divulge specifics.
DA representatives have spoken to Joan Porco.
We have interviewed Joan Porco, Rossi said. `I wouldn’t quantify that statement by saying we interviewed her at length. I wouldn’t characterize it like that.`
Rossi said Joan Porco’s testimony `could be important` to this grand jury investigation.
Joan Porco is getting visitors while she stays at Sunnyview, according to Terence Kindlon, a defense attorney hired by the Porco’s extended family to represent the couple’s younger son, 21-year-old Chris Porco, when the family felt police were too focused on him through the investigation.
`I understand Mrs. Porco is undergoing a miraculous recovery. She is doing quite well, relatively speaking. There has even been some talk of her being released,` Kindlon said last week.
John Balzano, Joan Porco’s brother who drove Chris Porco back to Delmar on the day of the discovery, are considering bringing her to their home in suburban Rochester when she is released. Joan Porco is awaiting more surgery at Albany Medical Center, according to Kindlon.
`John Balzano is a saint. He’s been with his sister every day since (the day of the discovery of Peter Porco’s body), for five weeks,` Kindlon said.
The Porco’s were discovered in their 36 Brockley Drive home on a Monday morning, about a month ago, when Peter Porco failed to show for work at the State Appellate Court, where he served as Judge Anthony Cardona’s law clerk. A court officer discovered Joan Porco upstairs from her deceased husband, with trauma to her body and head. Joan Porco was alert before she was taken by ambulance to the hospital, according to police, though it is unclear what, if anything, she said.
Chris Porco and his 23-year-old brother, Johnathan Porco, who is in the Navy, were called persons of interest since the beginning of the investigation. Both were interviewed by police. Chris Porco’s Jeep Wrangler was seized by police for processing after they traveled to Rochester the day of the discovery of Peter Porco’s body.
Bethlehem Police have never publicly called Chris Porco a suspect in the attack on his parents.
Johnathan Porco, still on active duty with the Navy, has been given a temporary assignment with the ROTC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, though Kindlon said he will be heading back sometime to nuclear propulsion school in Charleston, S.C.
The Porcos are religious people, practicing Catholics, Kindlon said, expecting they will rely on their religion to get through the holidays. Peter Porco was a Eucharistic minister at St. Frances de Sales in Loudonville, where Joan Porco’s cousin, Fr. David Noone, serves as minister. Before the attack, Joan Porco was also a daily communicant to St. Thomas Church in Delmar.
`It’s hard to imagine a sadder human tragedy than this. Everyone is showing signs of terrible strength. I expect them to be depending upon their religion for a lot of their strength over the next couple of weeks,` Kindlon said.
Noone said Joan Porco’s Christmas plans are `up in the air right now. All depends on medical clearance.“