The infamous Christopher Porco murder story will soon be portrayed through a Lifetime television movie.
The network has announced the movie will be called “Romeo Killer: The Christopher Porco Story” and will focus on the Delmar native and University of Rochester student who was convicted of killing his father and attempting to kill his mother with an ax in 2004.
Lifetime spokeswoman Gina Nocero said the movie will show the night of the murder all the way up through the trial, but added some details may not be totally accurate.
“We say it’s inspired by a true story,” she said.
Though Porco still maintains his innocence, he was found guilty in August of 2010 of having murdered his father, Peter, and attempting to murder his mother, Joan, as they slept inside their former Brockley Street home. The incident is presumed to have been over forged co-signatures on a student loan and car loan that Christopher Porco took out without his parents’ knowledge.
Joan survived the Nov. 15, 2004, attack, but was badly injuries. She later claimed no memory of the incident and professed her son’s innocence, even though police claimed she indicated with a nod her son had made the attack. That nod was later the basis for a long appeals process by Porco’s legal team. In April of this year, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition to review the murder conviction.
Porco is now 29, but was 20 at the time of the murder. He is now serving 50 years in prison.
Lifetime officials said the movie is currently in production in Vancouver. Porco will be played by Matt Barr, who was most recently in the History Channel miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys.” Erik McCormick from “Will and Grace” will play a Bethlehem police detective and actress Lolita Davidovich will play Joan Porco. The rest of the cast has not been released, though Hollywood media report a girlfriend character has been cast.
The film is set to portray Porco as a “beloved, handsome college student … who was every girl’s dream in the small town of Delmar, New York.”
Porco’s lawyer, Terrence Kindlon, said no one from the network has contacted him or anyone involved with the case about the film. He believes the network will use public record like newspaper articles and court documents to reconstruct the story.
“At this point, Chris is serving a life sentence and I don’t think it is illogical to say he is probably not real concerned about how a TV dramatization of his case represents him in one way or the other,” said Kindlon.
The case has been portrayed in television shows in the past, including a one-hour documentary on 48 Hours Mystery titled “Memory of Murder,” broadcast by CBS in 2006 and an episode of the TruTV series “Forensic Files” aired in 2009. The case is also thought to be the inspiration of a 2009 CSI episode.
“At this point, I’m very concerned for Joan Porco, who has been through hell and I would hate to think that she will be forced to confront certain aspects of this case again,” said Kindlon.
He said his team decided to end the appeals process in April because “there was nothing else we can do in good faith to further the cause.” Kindlon said the lengthy trial itself will be “terribly complex and complicated” to portray.
“We recognize the reasons for making a movie about this case, as it has drawn enormous media attention,” said Bethlehem police Chief Louis Corsi in a statement. “Our main objective was to complete a thorough investigation of all the facts and leads that arose during this investigation. We accomplished that and provided the District Attorney with a rock-solid case for prosecution.”
The film is scheduled to air in 2013, but an exact date has yet to be released.