Defense Not Given Evidence in Home Invasion Case

Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were sentenced to death, but the state Supreme Court abolished the death penalty last year.

A Connecticut judge has ruled that three police recordings weren't given to lawyers for a man convicted of killing a mother and her two daughters during a brutal 2007 home invasion.

The findings by New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue on Tuesday provide a boost to Joshua Komisarjevsky's pending appeal before the state Supreme Court. The recordings are of calls between officers during the response to the home invasion.

Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were convicted of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, at their Cheshire home.

After the Connecticut Supreme Court abolished the death penalty, both convicted killers are serving life sentences in prison.

Blue says the failure to provide the recordings to Komisarjevsky's lawyers wasn't deliberate.

Komisarjevsky's lawyers say the recordings help bolster their argument that the police response was inadequate, raising questions about their credibility in testimony against Komisarjevsky.

Two of the recordings were about a SWAT team member and a hostage negotiator not being called to the Petit’s home as police set up a perimeter, Komisarjevsky’s lawyers said. In the third recording, police officers question the credibility of Hawke-Petit telling a bank teller her family was being held hostage.

Dressed in an orange jump suit with a buzz cut, Komisarjevsky sat through the entire hearing next to his lawyers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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