In one of the few times jurors may hear from Christopher Porco during his trial for murder, prosecutors on the second day of testimony played two recorded telephone exchanges between Porco and a dispatcher with the Bethlehem police department in the hours following the attacks on his parents.
The first call came in at 3:09 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2004, approximately four hours after his parents, Joan and Peter Porco, were discovered brutally attacked in their 36 Brockley Drive home.
My name is Christopher Porco, and I am calling to find out if my parents were found dead, Porco stated calmly to Bethlehem Police Department Emergency Dispatcher Brianna Tice. Tice did not answer the question and instead placed Porco on hold before returning to the line to ask where he was calling from. Porco said he was calling from his dorm room at the University of Rochester and that he had been contacted about the death of his parents by an Albany newspaper intern.
`They called and said my parents are dead,` Porco stated. Tice told Porco she would get more information and have someone call him back. Porco did not say whether he had spoken with anyone else, including family members.
About an hour later, Porco placed a second call to the Bethlehem dispatch center.
`This is Christopher Porco and I’m calling back to talk to a detective, I don’t remember his name, he never called me back,` Porco said. Tice transferred the call to Bethlehem Police Det. Charles Rudolph and immediately began to inquire about Porco’s strained relationship with his father, Peter, who was killed in the attack.
`We have been e-mailing about some college loan stuff,` Porco said.
Rudolph then told Porco that his mother was being treated in Albany Medical Center. `When you come, I will be there to see if there is anything I can do for you,` said Rudolph.
Laurie Shanks, Christopher Porco’s attorney, repeatedly asked Tice why she never told Porco the condition of his parents and instead placed the call on hold to find a detective.
`You knew there was an all points bulletin out on Christopher Porco, did you not?` asked Shanks.
`I don’t recall,` said Tice.
`Did you know this young man’s father was dead and his mother was in Albany Medical Center?` asked Shanks.
`Yes,` said Tice.
Shanks continued to pepper Tice with questions and statements wondering why Tice placed Porco on hold and allowed a detective behind the scenes to decide what to do next.
`What you did was give Det. Rudolph his phone number so Det. Rudolph could talk to Christopher Porco unrecorded,` said Shanks.
The brief recorded phone conversations of Porco talking to police officers could be the only time in this trial the jury hears from Porco. It is not likely Porco will take the stand in his own defense, and a six-and-one-half hour videotaped interrogation of Porco by Bethlehem police has been ruled inadmissible.
Porco is accused of murdering his father Peter Porco and the attempted murder of his mother Joan in their Brockley Drive, Delmar, home in 2004.
The trial recessed on Thursday for the Fourth of July holiday and will be back in session next Wednesday, July 5.