Former UR student Christopher Porco was indicted on Friday in the murder of his father, Peter Porco and the attempted murder of his mother, Joan Porco in their Delmar, N.Y., home on Nov. 15, 2004.

The indictment came after a laptop computer that was stolen from the Delmar home two years prior to the attack was found by police in San Diego, Cali., and traced to Porco through eBay buyer records.

Authorities are pursuing a theory that Porco fought with his father over money and college-tuition costs.

According to the Times Union newspaper, authorities are arguing that this proves that Porco had stolen from his parents before and would do anything for money.

However, Porco’s attorney, Terence L. Kindlon, argues that the recent update linking Porco to the stolen computer is not substantial evidence in the murder case.

“There is no more connection between the stolen laptop and the murder than there is between you and the murder,” he said. “It’s meaningless information.”

In the past year, the Rochester Police Department and UR Security joined the 22 other police and security agencies across the nation in investigating the case.

“The university and security investigators, in particular, began working with investigators after Peter and Joan’s bodies were discovered,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said. “Since Nov. 15, we have been in regular contact with the offices in Albany, the State Police and the Bethlehem Police. This has been the focal, coordinating point.”

Students who were on the swim team with Porco, members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity that he belonged to and other students who knew or took classes with Porco were questioned.

“It’s been huge on campus,” Associate Dean of Students Matt Burns said. “It will calm down and swell up. [After the indictment] all of those feelings are swelling up again. The counseling center has reached out to people and the support is still here until this is all over.”

Authorities argue that this sweeping investigation has exposed holes in Porco’s story – he fell asleep on a dormitory couch the night of the murder, then woke up early to go for a run and eat breakfast with a friend.

Included in the argument that authorities have proposed is footage from a UR security camera that allegedly shows Porco’s yellow Jeep Wrangler leaving campus on the night of Nov. 14.

One of Porco’s neighbors testified before the grand jury that he saw the same car in the Porco’s driveway before dawn on Nov. 15., according to sources in the investigation.

However, Kindlon maintains that Porco was not involved in the murder and blames the authorities for jumping to a conclusion about his guilt without thoroughly investigating the case.

“My position is that the police quickly concluded that the attack was perpetrated by Christopher,” Kindlon said. “They never wavered from this conclusion that they reached the moment they found the body.”

According to the Times Union, police suspect that Porco staged a burglary at his house while his parents were asleep, by cutting the wires to the alarm system then entering the house armed with an axe or a hatchet.

Joan Porco has no recollection of the attack, but issued a statement to the Times Union pleading with authorities to leave her son alone because they were pursuing the wrong person. Her son is being held in the Albany County jail without bail, with a bail hearing is set for Nov. 16.

“This is an important, multi-dimensional tragedy,” Mauldin said. “There is the loss of a life and permanent injury, while a student stands accused by a grand jury. People knew him and them as a family and there are a lot of things to that.”

UR students have been coping with the aftermath of this tragedy for almost a year, and many have expressed a lack of emotion in response to the indictment compared to the initial shock directly following the murder.

“I think people came to a conclusion in their mind that he did it, so they are not surprised now,” swim team captain and senior Ted Elton said. “You never think that your friends are capable of something like that no matter who it is, but when something like this happens, you’re forced to run the scenario in your head. I hope he didn’t do it, but I don’t know.”

Continuing, he commented on how all those involved have handled the situation.

“I think all parties dealt with this poorly,” Elton said. “Students take rumor for fact. The media ignored that he is innocent until proven guilty. In the first story, he was painted as guilty and the rumors started.”

However, many students have been closely following the story and anxiously awaiting closure.

“I’m happy that there will hopefully be some closure in the near future for the rest of the Porco family and everyone else involved,” senior Nathan Drahms said.

The entire situation is very unnerving for many people on campus to think about.

“It’s scary to think about,” sophomore John Ray said. “It’s a tragic event for the family and really shook up students on campus because of the nature of the crime.”

Paret can be reached at eparet@campustimes.org.



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