State judge OKs Lifetime's Romeo Killer
Posted at: 03/21/2013 11:29 PM
By: Dan Levy
ALBANY - A state appellate judge on Thursday gave the go-ahead for Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story to be seen across the country, as scheduled this coming Saturday night.
The appellate ruling lifts a temporary restraining order granted earlier this week after Porco claimed the docu-drama is full of errors and would tarnish his reputation.The murder case that captivated the Capital Region had turned into a national legal matter with ramifications and reverberation throughout the entertainment industry.
Chris Porco, the 29-year old former Delmar resident, currently serving up to life in prison of the axe murder of his father, Peter, and the attempted murder of his mother, Joan, was able to convince a lower court judge on Tuesday to issue a TRO which banned the Lifetime Cable Network from airing its Romeo Killer movie about him Saturday night.
Lawyers for Lifetime Entertainment called the injunction "unprecedented" and said it would cause "irreparable damage not just to Lifetime but to the constitutional protections for speech."
Such prior restraint, the argument continued, is "universally recognized to be the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.
On Thursday, the appellate division agreed, although the possibility of Porco receiving any money damages after the movie airs are "unlikely" according to Lifetime attorneys since they say details of the crimes, the criminal investigation, and the conviction of Porco as presented in the movie, are all factually correct.
"I'm very pleased the appellate court recognized the fundamental First Amendment implications and that Mr. Porco's claim that his right to privacy would be violated, was unfounded," said Albany attorney Michael Grygiel, who argued the case for Lifetime.
Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story airs on Lifetime Saturday night at 8:00 P.M.