Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Christopher Porco

The Defense's Case

After six weeks and 75 witnesses, the prosecution finally rested its case against Chris leaving the courtroom floor to the defense team. The defense painted a picture of Chris as a "goofball college kid" who made a lot of mistakes but none-the-less loved his parents dearly and would never do anything to harm them, let alone try to murder them. Kindlon claimed that someone else was responsible for the horrible events that took place on November 15, 2004, further suggesting that the attacks could have been Mafia-related or the fulfillment of a threat made in 1989 by a man angered at the outcome of a custodial dispute.

The defense team suggested that from early on investigators and the prosecution ignored crucial evidence that might have led to the real killer. One of the suspects that the defense believed was overlooked was Peter Porco's cousin known as Frankie "the Fireman" Porco, who was a purported New York mobster serving time in a federal prison for conspiracy to murder. The defense contended that Frankie may have targeted the Porcos in retaliation for allegedly trying to extend his 24-month prison sentence. 

Another theory presented by the defense was that the attacks on the Porcos could have been carried out by a man who in 1989 threatened to kill Peter and his colleague Judge Cordona. The defense claimed that Peter and Judge Cordona represented the man's wife during a custodial dispute and was angered at the outcome. Richard Hanft, a matrimonial attorney, testified that the man also threatened his life at around the same time. He further stated that he saw the man in December, 2004, in Maryland but had not seen him since.

Aside from the possible theories presented by the defense as to who might have attacked Joan and Peter, the defense team also stressed that there was no forensic evidence that linked Chris to the crime, neither in his jeep that was forensically processed after the attacks or on his person. Moreover, Kindlon claimed that there was "no evidence" at the scene of the crime that suggested Chris had been there on the night in question. In short, the defense proposed that if there is no evidence, the state has no case against the accused. 

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