Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Christopher Porco

The Prosecution's Case

During opening arguments, the prosecution informed the jury that they had evidence that would discredit Chris' alibi and place him at his parents' house during the early morning hours of November 15, 2004. Moreover, they told the jury that they had important eyewitness testimony of those first to respond to the crime scene who allegedly witnessed Joan implicating Chris in the attacks. Throughout the trial, they presented a timeline of events that occurred prior to, during and following the attacks, which was supported by witnesses testimony and material evidence. They believed the evidence they had was strong enough to convince the jury that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the prosecution, Chris left his dorm at the University of Rochester at approximately 10:30 p.m. on November 14, 2004 and drove his yellow Jeep Wrangler some 232 miles from Rochester, arriving at his parents' home a little after 2 a.m. on November 15th. The prosecution was able to provide video surveillance footage from the campus parking lot and from a nearby off-campus medical center during the trial that showed Chris' jeep leaving campus and heading east, supposedly towards the highway.

Porco's Jeep on video
Porco's Jeep on video

At about the same time he drove away off campus, the prosecution claimed that his fraternity dorm mates gathered in the dormitory lounge to watch a movie. His dorm mates claimed to have left the lounge for bed at around 3:30 a.m. the next morning. According to the testimony of his dorm mates, Chris was nowhere to be seen.

The prosecution told the jury during the trial that at around 10:45 p.m., a New York State Thruway toll collector named John Fallon remembered a young white man in his mid-20's with a baseball cap driving a yellow Jeep Wrangler with large tires driving up to his toll booth at exit 46 in Rochester. While on the stand, Fallon said that he believed he handed a toll ticket to the man in the yellow jeep and only remembered the vehicle because he thought it would be a nice car for his son to have, Jim Cuozzo reported for Spotlight Newspapers. In later testimony, a DNA expert Terry Melton claimed that there was a 99.6% chance that the DNA extracted from the ticket matched that of Chris', although she further testified that "We cannot say for sure that DNA on that ticket is Mr. Porco's," Brendon Lyons reported for the Times Union.

Another New York State Thruway toll collector named Karen Russell testified at trial that she also saw a yellow jeep speeding towards her tool booth at Exit 24 in Albany at around, 1:51 a.m. on November 15th. She testified that she remembered a young white man behind the wheel of the car. The toll booth at Exit 24 is less than ten miles distance from the Porcos' home on Brockley Drive.

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