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Sunday, June 29, 2008

[CT] "Retired" cop who is brother of wife-killer, ex-Trooper Bochicchio, now accused of threatening his own wife's life

It all comes down to being able to pay the $1M to get out of jail?
He did.
Now what?
No article fears out loud for his family.



Waterbury Republican American, CT
By Brigitte Ruthman Republican-American
June 26, 2008
The brother of a former state trooper who shot and killed his wife and critically injured her lawyer before killing himself during a bitter divorce three years ago was arrested Thursday for possessing firearms in violation of a restraining order, and threatening his wife. Bruce Bochicchio, 41, a former judicial sheriff and retired Waterbury police officer, turned himself in to police at Troop L here early Thursday morning after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Bochicchio was arraigned later Thursday morning in Bantam Superior Court where Judge Charles D. Gill doubled the amount of his bond, from $500,000 to $1 million... Gill imposed a protective order, which is more restrictive than a restraining order, forbidding Bochicchio from coming within 100 yards of his wife or returning to the family home at 174 Bantam Lake Road in Morris where he has been living with his wife, their two children; her two children by a previous relationship and two children who are friends of the family. The Bochicchios also have custody of a niece and nephew orphaned when Michael Bochicchio fatally shot his wife, Donna, and seriously injured her Waterbury-based attorney, Julie Porzio, outside of Middletown Superior Court in 2005. According to court documents, state police and testimony, Bochicchio and his wife Christine, 43, were involved in a domestic dispute on Tuesday. Christine Bochicchio said it was part of a pattern of escalating violence. She said she feared for her safety and believed her husband had weapons in the house in violation of a previous restraining order filed against him by her 18-year-old son Geoffrey. Police obtained a search and seizure warrant and found 11 weapons, including an assault rifle, and two fully automatic submachine guns. "This is the most blatant disregard of a court order I have seen in 25 years, particularly because it was someone involved in law enforcement," Gill said. "Some of these weapons are only to be used on human beings. This is a red flag for danger." Bochicchio, who appeared in court wearing shorts and a T-shirt, told Gill he has never hurt anyone, especially not a member of his family... Bruce Bochicchio once worked as a deputy sheriff in the same court district where he was arraigned. He was hired as a Waterbury police officer in December 1995, and retired on a medical disability in August 2006. His charges include several firearms possession charges, failure to surrender a pistol permit, violation of a restraining order and second-degree threatening. His case was continued and transferred to Litchfield Superior Court, where the most serious cases are heard. If he posts his bond, Waterfall said Bochicchio will probably move in with his parents, who live in town. [Full article here]

Register Citizen
By Tracy Kennedy courts@registercitizen.com
Jun 27, 2008
Bruce Bochicchio, 41, wanted to shed the shackles and go home, but the fear that history would repeat itself was too great Thursday in Bantam Superior Court... “I love my family. I would never cause them harm, or harm anyone,” [Bruce] Bochicchio said. [Judge Charles] Gill looked sternly at Bochicchio and shook his head. “Starting out with the premise that you had 41 or more weapons, mixed with emotions and a handful of children — these things don’t mix,” Gill said. Bruce and his wife, Christine Bochicchio, took in Michael and Donna’s two children to live in their Morris home with their four children, but recently tempers started to flare, according to court documents. In April, Bruce argued with Geoffrey, Christine’s 19-year-old son, and Geoffrey sought and obtained a restraining order against his stepfather. Geoffrey claimed Bruce held him against the wall and strangled him in his bedroom. He struck his arm and screamed obscenities at him, Geoffrey claimed in the application for the court order. A week later, on May 9, they tangled again and Bruce allegedly strangled Geoffrey and threw him to the floor. In the restraining orders, Judge John Pickard and Judge Elizabeth Gallagher ordered Bruce Bochicchio to turn over his pistol permit and any firearms he had to state police... Bruce Bochicchio has no prior criminal record, is a former Waterbury police officer and manages property for a living, Waterfall said. He is a civic leader and has a stellar business career, the defense attorney argued... On Monday, Bruce told Christine not to come home. “He told me it was his home and he allowed me to live there,” Christine wrote in the affidavit. When she saw a rifle in the walk-in closet of the master bedroom Tuesday, she took their 6-year-old son and went to the state police barracks in Litchfield. At 9:30 p.m. Bruce Bochicchio refused to let police search the house, according to the warrant. Police returned with a search warrant at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday and collected an assault rifle, two fully automatic submachine guns, six handguns, a revolver and a Taser. “This is probably the most blatant disregard for a court order I have ever seen in my 25 years on the bench, particularly from someone involved in the court system and law enforcement,” Gill said. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Devin Stilson believe Bruce Bochicchio had an ulterior motive. “As the reports from the victim unfold, this woman was being terrorized,” Stilson said... [Full article here]

Hartford Courant
By KATIE MELONE kmelone@courant.com
June 27, 2008
... Eight months before Donna Bochicchio's death, in the middle of her contentious divorce, she warned family she was worried Michael Bochicchio would kill her... In a similar situation, Christine Bochicchio reported to police that on Saturday or Sunday, Bruce Bochicchio threatened to kill her. He also told the children he would be leaving in a week, and Christine Bochicchio was not welcome in the house, according to her account in an arrest warrant affidavit... [Full article here]

Register Citizen
By Tracy Kennedy courts@registercitizen.com
Jun 28, 2008
A Morris man involved in two domestic disputes and jailed Thursday for illegally keeping 11 prohibited weapons is at liberty after posting a $1 million bond... “We are aware he was released,” said Lt. Paul Vance, state police public information officer. Bochicchio is expected to follow the conditions set by the court for his release including having no contact with his wife and the six children living in their home, Vance said... [Full article here]


  1. AnonymousJune 30, 2008

    The Hartford Courant, (CT)
    Courant Staff Writers Alaine Griffin and Jesse Leavenworth contributed to this story.
    June 21, 2005

    Eight months ago, well into the second year of a contentious divorce, Donna Bochicchio penned a note on a small piece of paper:

    "I know he's going to kill me," her brother, Karl Seitz, said she wrote. "I just don't know when."

    To make it clear who she was talking about, Bochicchio wrote "Michael" in tiny letters above the word "he." Her growing fears were also evident in a telephone call she placed to the cemetery where her father was buried, asking if there was room enough for her to be buried in the same plot, Seitz said.

    In the days after Michael L. Bochicchio shot and killed his estranged wife last Wednesday in a parking lot near Superior Court in Middletown, some have wondered why the retired state trooper snapped, saying the bloody attack on Donna Bochicchio and her lawyer, Julie Porzio, was out of character.

    But family and friends are now learning that months before her death, Donna Bochicchio feared the simmering anger growing between them would explode in violence. After killing his wife, Bochicchio, 47, of Torrington, shot and killed himself.

    "We all knew she was fearful," said Greg Gaudet, her boss at NI Design in Farmington, where Donna, 42, worked as a receptionist. "We never thought this would happen."

    In an interview, members of Donna Bochicchio's family recalled a kind and giving woman who -- though increasingly fearful of her husband -- did not want to burden her family with the toll the divorce was taking.

    Seitz, Bochicchio's oldest brother, said he found the telltale note about her fears while going through his sister's personal effects after her death. He has turned it over to Middletown police, who continue to investigate the murder-suicide.

    Seitz said that he wishes he'd known the depth of his sister's fear earlier.

    "When she was here, she was trying to do the best she could and didn't want to lay it on us," he said.

    She did, however, confide in her niece, Heidi Barker, and a few close friends about her growing fear that her husband -- whom they described as controlling and possessive -- might try to kill her.

    For many years, the Bochicchio's marriage looked strong from the outside. But Barker said it was less than perfect. She said Bochicchio told her that over time, Michael Bochicchio became increasingly hostile, making comments about his wife's appearance and struggles with her weight.

    "He was just really controlling and he got really nasty," Barker said. "He was just killing her spirit."

    During the first year of their divorce proceedings, the Bochicchios continued to live together in their house in Harwinton -- Michael downstairs, Donna upstairs. A judge last year ordered Michael Bochicchio out of the house.

    When asked to respond to word of Donna Bochicchio fears, Bruce Bochicchio, Michael's brother, said he preferred to focus on the future.

    "Donna was a beautiful person, and she was my sister-in-law and I loved her," he said. "The challenge now is for all three victim families to work together for the benefit of [their two] children -- to do something they weren't able to do before."

    The divorce case went on for more than two years.

    "He was trying to wear her down and she was too strong for that," said Kathryn Kimball, a co-worker at NI Design. "Maybe that's why he resorted to something like this. He knew she was stronger than him."

    The day before the shooting, Elise Irish, a co-worker and friend, said Bochicchio told her about a particularly upsetting encounter with Michael Bochicchio. One day after court recessed, Donna Bochicchio and Porzio saw Michael Bochicchio waiting in the parking lot.

    "Julie motioned for Donna to go to the car and Michael motioned for Julie to come over to his car and they spoke," Irish said. "Then Michael drove off. After that, Julie told Donna she was afraid. The tone in his voice scared her."

    Porzio remained in stable condition at Hartford Hospital, where she was taken after the shooting.

    "Now that I look back, I think life was hell for her," said another friend, John Rizdon. "She told me many times, `he'll kill me."'

    Donna Bochicchio's friends and family said her loss has left a terrible void. They remember a woman who adored her children and relished the opportunity to lend a hand to anyone.

    During a trip to the Mohegan Sun casino with her husband, Donna Bochicchio found a college class ring someone had lost. She worked the phones and eventually reunited the ring with its owner, her brother and niece recalled.

    Her boss, Gaudet, said that Bochicchio used her skills as a genealogist to help him track down his mother, whom he had not seen in decades. "There's not a single person who ever met her who didn't love her," he said.

    Bochicchio was a cook whose efforts were sought by friends and family. Whenever she prepared a batch of her pasta fagiole soup, she had to use a huge pot because everyone wanted some, Seitz said.

    Bochicchio created elaborate cakes for birthdays and other events, especially for her son, Michael, and daughter, Karlyn. Halloween costumes were another favorite activity.

    "She would stay up until ungodly hours to finish these projects," said Anna Seitz, Karl Seitz's wife.

    "She was such a wonderful daughter," said her mother, Irma Seitz. "I miss her so much."

    At work, Donna Bochicchio kept track of birthdays and anniversaries, even the due date of a co-worker's wife.

    "You look forward to seeing her every day because she had something to share that would make you feel good," Irish said.

    A discussion of this story with Courant Staff Writer David Owens is scheduled to be shown on New England Cable News each hour today between 9 a.m. and noon.

  2. From my notes on past news:

    Jun 16, 2005
    Ambush - Ex Trooper Bochicchio shot wife, her atty, self
    Michael Bochicchio Jr. pulled into the city parking lot behind the courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday. He parked his Dodge Caravan nose-out, so he could watch the lot entrance, and armed with a semiautomatic handgun, he waited. At 9 sharp, parking attendant Elaine Eldridge opened her small ticket booth at the Court Street entrance, and about 30 minutes later, Bochicchio's wait was over. The former state trooper saw the black minivan carrying his wife, Donna, and her attorney, Julie Porzio, arrive. As Porzio parked the van, Bochicchio walked across the pavement, opened the passenger's side door and opened fire with his .40-caliber handgun, killing the mother of his two children and wounding the Waterbury lawyer. Finished, Bochicchio, 47, dressed in shirt and tie, raised the gun to his head and fired once more. Gravely wounded, he slumped against an adjacent vehicle and slid to the ground. ...After hiring and then firing several lawyers during the two-year divorce case because he didn't think they were aggressive enough, several sources said, [Trooper] Michael Bochicchio was representing himself in the trial that began last month and was to enter its 12th day Wednesday... Michael Bochicchio comes from a family with a long law enforcement background. His father, Michael Bochicchio , was a decorated state police officer... His brother is a sergeant... his uncle was chief of detectives... A former state trooper bumped into Bochicchio about a week and a half ago, and Bochicchio told him he was going through a nasty divorce that was really taken a toll on him. "He was upset, all consumed by it," he said. "He looked disheveled out of sorts."... Michael Bochicchio comes from a family with a long law enforcement background. His father, Michael Bochicchio, was a decorated state police officer who retired as a captain in 1989. His brother is a sergeant with the Waterbury Police Department, and his uncle was chief of detectives in Waterbury... As news of the shooting made its way around the state police, troopers and supervisors said they were shocked that Bochicchio would commit a violent act. He had a reputation as a solid employee... (Source: A Deadly Ambush, Hartford Courant, June 16, 2005)

    Jun 16, 2005
    ..."He tells me ... that I'm making a big mistake," Donna Bochicchio said at a hearing on May 20, 2004. "He's very, very persistent about - about alimony. He says, `You'll never ever see a penny of alimony. God strike me dead, you'll never see a penny.' He's very adamant about that. I said, `Well, what if a judge ordered you to do that?' He said, `It won't happen.' I said, `Why?' He said, `You'll see.' "... [TRUE - If you want to live & someone infers they have a dastardly plan get the hell out of dodge and take the most extreme precautions POSSIBLE - whether others are willingly supportive / equally spooked or NOT. Believe what you know.] ...Despite the acrimony,Donna Bochicchio acknowledged that her husband never hit her and was never violent. Julie Fasano, the family relations counselor appointed to study the child custody issue, testified last year, that Donna Bochicchio "was afraid that [Michael Bochicchio ] was going to hurt her, or something like that. And when she brought it to his attention, he said, `If I was going to hurt you, I would have already done it.'"... [FALSE - Bad guys lie. Believe what you know.]

    Jun 20, 2005
    ...The Bochicchios were fighting over money and the custody of their children, ages 12 and 14. They had been married nearly 17 years. A judge had ordered Michael Bochicchio out of the couple's Harwinton home, describing his behavior as intimidating and harassing. After the shooting, a judge awarded custody of the children to Donna Bochicchio 's family...

    Jun 22, 2005
    ...Donna Bochicchio penned a note on a small piece of paper: "I know he's going to kill me... I just don't know when."... Donna Bochicchio's family recalled a kind and giving woman who -- though increasingly fearful of her husband -- did not want to burden her family with the toll the divorce was taking..

    Jun 23, 2005
    ..."The Donna I came to know over the past two years was a person who felt trapped, at times tormented, who agonized over what the contentious divorce was doing to her children," he said. "And yet she was bearing up under that tremendous pressure with dignity and determination."...

    Oct 26, 2005
    ...The tragedy left the couple's two children Michael, 15, and Karlyn, 13, without parents. "It has been a rough year. I'm thrilled by the support the community has given the children," Bruce Bochicchio , the children's uncle said at the event. Bruce said he and his wife, Chris, serve as the children's guardians. The couple has four children of their own...

    Dec 17, 2005
    Learning from the deaths of Trooper & wife Donna Bochicchio
    ...Julie Fasano, the family relations counselor appointed to study the child custody issue, testified last year, that Donna Bochicchio "was afraid that [Michael Bochicchio] was going to hurt her, or something like that. And when she brought it to his attention, he said, `If I was going to hurt you, I would have already done it.'"... "He tells me ... that I'm making a big mistake... He says, `You'll never ever see a penny of alimony. God strike me dead, you'll never see a penny.' He's very adamant about that. I said, `Well, what if a judge ordered you to do that?' He said, `It won't happen.' I said, `Why?' He said, `You'll see.' "...

    Dec 17, 2005
    Battle on for cop's assets
    ... The wife of former Waterbury Mayor Joseph Santopietro, Porzio is the mother of two children who are 2 and 3. "It involves the loss of life's enjoyments, time and income, my ability to dress myself and change my baby's diapers" Porzio said. "I didn't cause this situation. I am, unfortunately, involved and don't envy the decision-makers. But I want what is fair and reasonable. I don't know what happened to the summer of 2005. I didn't play with my kids, or go swimming. I haven't for six months been able to comply when my child says 'uppee me mommy.' Sometimes, I can't get past noon because I am so wiped out. Some nights I don't sleep at all. My left hand is basically blown away into bone chips"...

    Dec 17, 2005
    Injured Atty of slain wife in Trooper Bochicchio murder-suicide sues
    ..."This happened in an adversarial situation where an out-of-control husband shoots her, and almost murders her, and murders her client right next to her," said Robert S. Kolesnik Sr. of Waterbury, Porzio's attorney. "You can imagine what that can do to someone emotionally and physically. She'll never be the same," he added. "There's no amount of money that can compensate for this"... The claim for $5 million plus attorneys fees was lodged against Bochicchio's estate...

    Jan 16, 2006
    Atty in Ex-Trooper Bochicchio murder-suicide sues again
    ...The divorce lawyer wounded last June when her client was shot and killed by her husband (Trooper Bochicchio) outside the Middletown courthouse has filed a second lawsuit against the estate of the shooter, Michael Bochicchio...

    Feb 19, 2007
    Attorney wounded in Trooper's dv murder-suicide still shaken
    ...“He just started shooting,” Porzio said. “I remember falling. I think the first bullet hit my face.” Donna was silent. Porzio tasted blood. Then she heard a voice that sounded like a deceased aunt or uncle: “Julie, everything is going to be all right, just don't move.” “I saw like a light,” Porzio said. “I didn't move and he shot me three more times.” Then it grew eerily quiet... “They're dead, they're all dead,” a man said... She tried to return to work part-time. But one of her first clients mentioned that her husband had a gun collection. “I literally started to sweat while she was sitting there,” Porzio said. “I asked her to leave”... “I'm not going to let him keep me down forever,” she says. “When are they going to fix the system? That's what I want most out of this case.”

    Feb 19, 2007
    "Julie's Law" (dv murder of Trooper's wife was preventable)
    [3 ARTICLES] ...Ms. Porzio and the legislators, state Representative David K. Labriola, R-131st District, state Representative Anthony J. D'Amelio, R-71st District, and state Senator Joan V. Hartley, D-15th District, spoke at a news conference today at the State Capitol, where they urged bipartisan support for a bill (HB 5678) that would provide funding to pay for a comprehensive security evaluation and additional security systems at courthouses, including parking facilities... Dubbed "Julie's Law," the legislation would set aside $10 million for new security systems in both courthouses and parking areas and would provide more training for judicial marshals... "Every presentation I make will be in honor of Donna, who was a wonderful person and died form a tragic and preventable event," said Porzio, who wept before a bank of television cameras and reporters. Porzio said she and her client were never notified by judicial marshals that Michael Bochicchio tried five times to bring prohibited items into the courthouse, including a gun and pocket knife. ``It was frightening, to say the least, there were so many warning signs,'' said Porzio...

    Feb 21, 2007
    "A Question Of Security" (Trooper Bochicchio murder-suicide)
    ...Whether the physical and emotional damage caused by Mr. Bochicchio justifies spending $10 million over two years to upgrade court security, as proposed by state Reps. David K. Labriola and Anthony J. D'Amelio and Sen. Joan V. Hartley, is another matter... The three lawmakers are sponsoring what they call "Julie's Law" against the backdrop of lawsuits against the state filed by Ms. Porzio and Donna Bochicchio's estate. The suits claim that the two women should have been notified of Mr. Bochicchio 's attempts to bring weapons into the courthouse. Beyond requiring such notifications, the legislators also envision the bill paying for better training of court marshals to spot signs of violence, hiring additional marshals and installing security cameras in the parking lot. Before the state spends $10 million, it should ascertain whether stepped-up security could stop another shooting of this nature.


    "Killer's Brother Accused Of Threatening Wife"

  4. Case against Morris man moved to different court
    Torrington Register Citizen, CT

    BANTAM - A New Britain judge will take over the case brought against a Morris man charged with failing to surrender automatic weapons to police following domestic violence allegations.

    Judge Paul Matasavage granted the defense request to change the venue in the case lodged against 41-year-old Bruce Bochicchio.

    Bochicchio was arrested June 26 by state police Troop L and charged with criminal weapon possession, illegal possession of an assault weapon, second-degree threatening, criminal violation of a restraining order, making a false statement and failure to surrender a revoked permit. Bochicchio was ordered to leave his home last month and is residing at 70 Baldwin Hill Road, Litchfield, according to court records. He posted a $1 million bond.

    The change in venue was "purely an administrative action" to avoid a conflict of interest because of Bochicchio's previous employment as a judicial marshal (formerly special deputy sheriff), attorney A. Thomas Waterfall said.
    "He worked here and in Litchfield," Waterfall said.

    Bochicchio is the brother of Michael Bochicchio, a former state trooper who shot his wife Donna and himself to death in the parking lot of the Middletown Superior Court three years ago. The couple was involved in a bitter divorce and child custody dispute.

    Bruce Bochicchio, who also is a former police officer, runs several businesses and a property management firm in Litchfield County. He was ordered to turn over all of his weapons after a Litchfield judge issued a restraining order against him. The action followed Bochicchio's reported assault of his 18-yearold step-son. Bocchicchio's wife alerted police when she found what she thought was a rifle in the closet and feared her husband's anger would get out of control.

    Bochicchio claimed he overlooked the 11 weapons found in his home after already turning in 42 firearms to police. Police seized an assault rifle, two fully automatic submachine guns, six handguns, a revolver and a stun gun.

    Bochicchio is scheduled to attend New Britain Superior Court on July 22.

    Tracy Kennedy can be reached by e-mail at courts@registercitizen.com.



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