Attorneys Want to Move Venue in Ct. Home Invasion Trial

Joshua Komisarjevsky is the second person to be tried in gruesome crime

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    TK

    They claim he was "demonized" during Steven Hayes trial.

    A hearing will be held this week on Joshua Komisarjevsky’s request to move his trial from New Haven to Fairfield County.

    His attorneys claim he get a fair trial in New Haven because he had been so "demonized" during the trial of co-defendant, Steven Hayes.

    Komisarjevsky is the second man to be charged in the Cheshire home invasion and slayings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela.

    Prosecutors have objected, saying extensive media coverage does not prove prejudicial publicity.

    The case will be back in New Haven Superior Court on Wednesday. Jury selection for Komisarjevsky's trial starts March 14.

    Hayes was condemned to death in November.

    Before the sentence was pronounced, Dr. William Petit, who was severely beaten but survived the attack on his family, told the court he had seriously considered suicide after the deaths of his wife, whom he called his best friend, and their two young daughters. Petit fought back tears as he talked about his family.

    "I miss my entire family, my home, everything we had together. They were three special people," he said.

    The killings, which drew comparisons to the 1959 slayings portrayed in Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood," were so unsettling that they became a key issue in the death penalty debate in Connecticut's governor's race and led to tougher state laws for repeat offenders and home invasions.

    Hayes sexually assaulted and strangled Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Authorities say he and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky tied the girls to their beds, poured gasoline on or around them and set fire to their home in Cheshire. Komisarjevsky goes on trial next year.