April 7, 2013

Lifetime movie about murderer allowed to air

PLATTSBURGH — A convicted killer’s attempt to keep a network television movie off the air that portrays the murder was lifted with the help of a Lake Placid attorney.

Christopher Porco, now 29, was convicted of murdering his father and trying to kill his mother with an ax in their Delmar home in November 2004. His mother was physically disfigured the attack.

Porco was a student at the University of Rochester when he was charged.

He has been incarcerated at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora since December of 2006 on convictions of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder.

In January, Porco “had an understanding that there was going to be a movie broadcast based on the investigation of events that led to his prosecution and conviction for murder,” said Lifetime television network co-counsel Michael J. Grygiel of Greenberg Traurig LLP in Albany.

However, Porco had not seen the film and therefore had no first-hand knowledge of its content, Grygiel said.

On March 19, New York State Supreme Court Judge Robert J. Muller issued a restraining order that would temporarily ban Lifetime from airing “Romeo Killer: The Christopher Porco Story” to protect Porco’s privacy.

The film was scheduled to premiere on March 23, but the hearing wasn’t scheduled until April 26, according to court documents.

“The time constraints were quite pressing,” said attorney Matthew D. Norfolk of Briggs Norfolk LLP in Lake Placid, who served as co-counsel for Lifetime Entertainment Services Inc.

The order was suspended on March 21 based on an emergency application filed by Lifetime with the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division in Albany, Grygiel said.

The TV movie then aired as scheduled.

Lifetime spokesman Les Eisner told the Associated Press, “It’s a sad day when a convicted murderer who has exhausted all of his appeals can convince any court to stop people from exercising their First Amendment right to talk about his crime.” 

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