Police: Ex-trooper kills wife outside court

Alleged gunman wounds self, lawyer amid divorce battle

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 Posted: 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)

Investigators examine the crime scene in Middletown.

MIDDLETOWN, Connecticut (AP) -- A former state trooper killed his estranged wife, wounded her divorce lawyer and then shot himself Wednesday outside the courthouse where they were to appear for a hearing, law enforcement officials said.

Donna Bochicchio, 43, was pronounced dead on the top deck of a parking garage behind Middletown Superior Court. Retired trooper Michael Bochicchio Jr., 47, was listed in critical condition.

Attorney Julie Porzio, 42, who represented Donna Bochicchio, was listed in serious but stable condition after suffering wounds to her face and left arm.

According to court records, Michael Bochicchio filed for divorce in 2003; the couple had been married since 1988. They had been fighting over money and the custody of their two children.

A court order dated Wednesday grants custody of the 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy to Donna Bochicchio's family.

"He was a wonderful person, a state cop for all those years. I don't know what went through his mind," said his uncle, Anthony Bochicchio Sr. "He was going through a bad divorce. He just snapped."

Bochicchio also served as a contract federal court security officer, U.S. Marshal John Bardelli said.

The court resumed normal operations by afternoon, court spokeswoman Rhonda Stearley-Hebert said. Middletown is about 20 miles south of Hartford.