Joshua Komisarjevsky – White, age 26
Sentenced in New Haven County, Connecticut
By: a jury
Date of crime: July 2007
Victim: Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, Michaela Petit, 11, Hayley Petit, 17
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Komisarjevsky and an accomplice, Hayes, broke into the Petit home, bound and beat William Petit, and started ransacking the house. Hayes took Jennifer to the bank to withdraw money while Komisarjevsky sexually assaulted Michaela. When Hayes returned, he raped Jennifer, then bound her and her daughters to their beds, doused them with gasoline, and set fire to the house. William managed to escape, but the three women died. The defense argued that all of the deaths were due to Hayes, that Komisarjevsky never intended to hurt anyone, and that he was merely a burglar and thief. The defense also accused the surviving family, the “Petit Posse,” of inappropriately influencing the jury with their presence. The prosecution countered with emotional pleas by the surviving father describing the impact of the murders. The jury noted no sense of remorse or responsibility for the deaths.
Sources: Herald (CT) 1/27/12 (Pg. Unavail. Online) (2012 WLNR 1952899), Hartford Courant (CT) 1/28/12 A1 (2012 WLNR 2051936).