NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Attorneys for the Connecticut man charged in a deadly home invasion asked a judge Thursday for a three-month trial delay, citing comments by a lawmaker they say could contribute to a “mob mentality.”
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are in the midst of jury selection for Joshua Komisarjevsky’s trial, which is slated to start in September. The defense made the request for delay Thursday and said they would file a written motion Monday. New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue said he would consider it.
Komisarjevsky’s attorneys cited comments Sen. Edith Prague made to an online political newspaper, Ct News Junkie, in which she said Komisarjevsky should be hung by his genitals from a tree.
“Her public comments were clearly reckless and undignified for an individual who is a member of the Connecticut legislature and her comments only serve to contribute to the ‘mob mentality,’” Komisarjevsky attorney Walter Bansley said in a statement.
Prague confirmed she made the comment.
“I’m not sorry I said that because this this guy’s a monster and I can’t think of enough bad stuff that could happen to him that could even begin to pay him back for what he did,” Prague said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said it here at the Capitol. I didn’t realize it was going to take off like a bullet.”
Prague said she hopes the judge will not delay the trial.
Prague announced Wednesday that she would oppose repealing the state’s death penalty after speaking with Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the 2007 attacks in Cheshire.
Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and his daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year Hayley, were killed in the home invasion.
Another defendant, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)