Komisarjevsky Formally Sentenced To Death In Cheshire Home Invasion

NEW HAVEN, CT (AP / CBSNewYork) – A Connecticut man expressed regret but steadfastly blamed his accomplice as he was sentenced to die Friday for a deadly home invasion that unsettled suburbia and halted momentum to abolish the state’s death penalty.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, described his regrets and the devastating consequences of his decisions as he spoke in court, but also denied having any part in the killings. He said he has family and supporters who don’t want him to die. He also said being sentenced to death was a “surreal experience.”

“I know my responsibilities, but what I cannot do is carry the responsibilities of the actions of another,” Komisarjevsky said. “I did not want those innocent women to die.”

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story

Komisarjevsky joins his accomplice, Steven Hayes, and nine other men on Connecticut’s death row. The state’s last execution in 2005 was the first since 1960. That means the 31-year-old Komisarjevsky will likely spend decades in prison.

A jury condemned Komisarjevsky to death Dec. 9. He was sentenced by a judge Friday in New Haven Superior Court. A jury had earlier recommended the death penalty.

The two paroled burglars tormented a family of four in the affluent New Haven suburb of Cheshire before killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and leaving her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, to die in a fire.

Hayes was convicted in 2010 of raping and strangling Hawke-Petit and killing the girls. The girls were tied to their beds and doused in gasoline before the house was set ablaze; they died of smoke inhalation. Komisarjevsky was convicted of the killings and of sexually assaulting Michaela.

Komisarjevsky insisted on Friday that he didn’t kill anyone, that he didn’t rape Michaela and that he didn’t start the fire. Talking about his death sentence he said, “I wonder when the killing will end.”

The only survivor, Dr. William Petit, who was beaten with a baseball bat and tied up but escaped,  called the crime a “personal holocaust” as he testified earlier during the sentencing hearing. He said his wife was his friend and confidant, and a wonderful mother. He also noted that Hayley would be in medical school by now and that Michaela loved to cook and sing.

The 2007 attack led to the defeat of a bill to outlaw the death penalty in Connecticut and sparked tougher state laws for repeat offenders and home invasions.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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.)

  • thor's hammer

    if there’s a statute of limitations on how long charges can be filed for crimes, there should be a statute of limitations on appeals. how about 3 years, like 3 strikes and yer out. needs to be something more than lethal injection too. too much good money wasted on this poor excuse for oxygen consumption on the planet and his partner in crime. i’d be happy to research the spanish inquisition techniques. their “rights” should be few, and privileges even fewer. justice for the victims only.

  • Conservatives are more evil

    If both these predator’s are ever executed it will be in 18-20 years
    meantime on”Death Row” they will have better treatment then if given
    a life sentence,where hopefully they might get “prison justice”.

    • Conservatives are the problem

      Conservatives are fascists in disguise.
      As per these guys….. they should have been accidentally killed when they arrested them, right to a fair trial? What about the victims, they did not have a chance…. such a wast of time and money these guys. I hope I hear about the executions before I die! They will stay in there for ever waiting for THAT day….. omgs…

  • Liberals Are Evil

    So disgusting how these filthy maggots are still breathing. The day they die, I will celebrate big time. Satan is preparing their rooms!

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