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Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano has denied a motion by the defense team of Joshua Komisarjevsky that would have allowed the defendant to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.
Komisarjevsky's lawyers filed the motion eariler this month stating that, while their client was culpable for his part in the July 2007 home invasion that left Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, dead, he was not guilty of their murders. The motion stated that Komisarjevsky would be willing to accept a life sentence without the possibility of parole in exchange for pleading guilty. Prosecutors have insisted from the beginning that their ultimate goal is to seek the death penalty for Komisarjevsky.
Komisarjevsky's co-defendant Steven Hayes stood trial last year and was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to death. Fasano on Wednesday said that, "even assuming the court had the power to do so," the motion was denied.
"This court is not inclined to grant defendants' request to impose a 'court inclined' sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or release following a conditional plea of guilty to all counts," Fasano wrote in his one paragraph ruling.
Also yesterday, March 23, a third juror was selected for the upcoming trial, which is scheduled to begin in mid-September. The jury will be comprised of 12 regular jurors, six back-ups and three alternate back-ups.
Jury selection resumed this morning in New Haven Superior Court.