Members of the Bethlehem Police Department headed out Monday to Rochester as part of the 52-year-old law clerk Peter Porco’s murder investigation, which toppled the four-month mark last week.
Peter Porco’s 21-year-old son, Chris Porco, was a student at the University of Rochester at the time of his father’s murder, an attack that also left Chris Porco’s mother, Joan, severely beaten in the Porco’s Brockley Drive home. Chris Porco has since been suspended from school based on information given by the Bethlehem Police, Chris Porco’s attorney, Terence L. Kindlon has said.
Bethlehem Police Lt. Thomas Heffernan couldn’t say how many officers went, but the group planned on meeting with members of the Rochester Police Department, (University of Rochester) campus security and other outside agencies.
Heffernan said State Police were included in that group. District Attorney representatives may have also been on board, though efforts to reach that office were unsuccessful.
Heffernan said he expects the group to be out there at least `a couple of days,` but he declined to characterize the nature of the visit, which has been in the works for a couple of weeks.
The Porcos’ sons, Chris Porco and his 23-year-old brother, Johnathan Porco, who is in the Navy, were called persons of interest at the beginning of the investigation, but police have declined to publicly name any suspects. 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. Other members of the Joan Porco’s family live in Rochester.
Interviews with Chris Porco’s classmates or friends is part of the investigation, Heffernan said, as well as interviews with people out of state and out of county.
`Each time we do an interview, we could find something that leads us in another direction, lead us to another interview or re-interview someone or in another direction from that,` Heffernan said.
Kindlon, obtained by the Porco family, said he is reviewing evidence he received from authorities in order to make a decision of whether to have Chris Porco testify in front of the grand jury.
`It’s a highly technical issue and there are a thousand million different considerations, all aspects, all facts, the law, assessments and advisability,` Kindlon said of deciding whether it is in Chris Porco’s best interest to testify in front of the grand jury.
Kindlon said reviewing the evidence is a time consuming feat in itself, noting the videotape of Chris Porco’s initial interview with police is about six-and-a-half hours long.
`It was lengthy just to get through it and the audibility was questionable,` Kindlon said. `The other issue we know is that the tape ends abruptly before the interview is concluded, so there is some concern about that.`
Kindlon recently hinted at a lawsuit for Chris Porco’s suspension from school.
`Clearly, the Bethlehem Police went to Rochester and said awful things about Chris. The University of Rochester immediately, summarily suspended him on the spot, gave him a letter and told him not to come back on campus,` Kindlon said recently, calling that development `offensive.`
The grand jury, in place since December and described by district attorney representatives as investigatory, reconvened in January, after the jurors’ terms were extended and has been on hiatus since then.“