Lawyers Seek Delay in Connecticut Home Invasion Trial

Lawyers for Joshua Komisarjevsky filed a motion after a state senator's "genital lynching" comments

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Lawyers for the accused mastermind of a Connecticut home invasion murder asked a judge Monday for a three-month delay in the trial for the triple-murder suspect after comments by a state senator.

    Defense attorney Jeremiah Donavan filed a motion in New Haven Superior Court asking for the delay claiming statements made by Sen. Edith Prague could be detrimental to their client, Joshua Komisarjevsky, one of two men accused of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Haley, 17 and Michaela, 11, during a 2007 home invasion.

    "They should bypass the trial and take that second animal and hang him by his penis from a tree out in the middle of Main Street," Prague said last week.

    "I'm not going to take it back," Prague told NBC Connecticut.  "That man is a monster, and I don't fee anything for him is bad enough."

    Prague made the comments after announcing she had decided to change her mind on voting in favor of a bill that would have repealed the death penalty in Connecticut. She made the decision after speaking with Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the home invasion.

    She said Petit convinced her that a bill repealing the death penalty would make it more difficult for a jury to sentence Komisarjevsky to death.

    Donavan said Prague's call for a "genital lynching" was inflammatory and could sway potential jurors who might have told the court they could not be fair and impartial, to instead lie in an effort to get on the jury "in order to advance Senator Prague's view," according to the motion.

    Judge Jon C. Blue did not say when he might rule on the motion.

    It was filed the same day the trial's first alternate juror was seated. Twelve regular jurors have already been selected for the trial, which is scheduled to start in September.

    In December, Komisarjevsky's co-defendant Steven Hayes was sentenced to death in the killings, which drew comparisons to the 1959 slayings portrayed in Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood."

    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.